Another week, another ex-Patriots running back looking for revenge.
This time, it's Stevan Ridley.
The Pats' lead back from 2011-14 now serves as a backup for the Steelers, and he's anxiously awaiting his chance to stick it to his former team on Sunday. With Pittsburgh's starting running back James Conner likely to sit out, Ridley could see an uptick in opportunities.
Ridley told The Boston Herald about how important Sunday's Patriots-Steelers matchup is to him.
“I’m very open and I have to be real: I want this game more than any other game, man,” Ridley told The Herald. “That’s just the bottom line to it. And it’ll be that way from this year until I go in the grave. I’m just that kind of person.”
He didn't stop there. Ridley explained how it felt to not be contacted by New England following the 2014 season in which he tore his ACL.
“I was trashed after an injury,” Ridley said. “I’m just going to put it that way. I’m not going to say specifically, but to be a starter for (the Patriots) for four years, to tear my ACL and never get a call back, that’s a tough pill to swallow.”
“And now they’re still looking for a running back to try to come in and play — how many running backs have been through there to try to give them some consistency as a quote-unquote first or second down back?” Ridley said. “They’re still looking for it right now. Yeah, it’s very personal. It is.”
After the Titans defeated the Patriots in Week 10, ex-Pats running back Dion Lewis took a shot at his former team saying, "That’s what happens when you go cheap. You get your ass kicked.” You can bet Ridley hopes to follow in Lewis' footsteps.
“I had circled the game when I was with the Jets — I think it was Week 7 or 8,” Ridley said, “and man, I’ve had that game circled on my schedule every year since I left there to try to get a shot at these guys and get some kind of redemption.”
While Ridley feels strongly about the sour ending to his tenure in New England, the 29-year-old made a point to acknowledge the good along with the bad.
“Anything between the white lines, you cannot question (Bill) Belichick, (Tom) Brady, or anything they’ve done in let’s say the last two decades,” Ridley said. “But you’re asking me about my situation, so I’m telling you about my situation when it comes to that. I don’t discredit anything. Those guys brought me into the NFL. They gave me my first shot in the league. We won a lot of ballgames there to go to four AFC Championships, two different Super Bowls. We were kicking ass every year that we were there. I had great memories in New England, man. It’s not all bitter.”
If Ridley indeed gets his redemption on Sunday, it will be the second straight week that a former Patriots running back comes back to haunt New England. Last week, it was Brandon Bolden scoring two touchdowns for the Dolphins in the crushing Pats loss.
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