Ridley’s fate in his hands
And Ridley is well aware what’s at stake if he can’t hold on to the ball this season. He knows the deal. He’s in a contract year, and it sure looks like James White is being groomed to eventually take over his spot. That’s why it made him sick when the ball broke free from his grasp.
“It’s too close to call (whether it was a fumble). Either way I need to avoid those plays in general,” he said. “There’s nothing really else to be said about it . . . I hated it and it was a sick feeling for a second. We looked at the play, and it is what it is, but either way, one out is too many. I’m not going to harp on that, I’m going to learn from it.”
“That’s what I’m still trying to figure out,” he said. “Getting tackled by a few defenders, it’s football, they’re taught to go after the ball and attack it. It’s just staying alert, being conscious of that and trying to get two hands on it. That’s really all you can do.”
Until Ridley is able to rid himself of the problem, and not have these drops creep in every so often, whether they’re considered fumbles or not, he has to live with doubt both from the outside world and, more important, from the people putting the ball in his hands.
During Monday’s practice, just as it has been for each and every training camp practice thus far, Ridley was clean. Defensive back Daxton Swanson tried to punch the ball away like a madman during ball-security drills, but Ridley hung on. But still, there was a media posse waiting for him, just because a ball popped loose when he might have been down.
“I just gotta learn from it and keep moving and not sulk on it,” he said. “I will try not to have this issue and this be the topic the whole year this year because I think I can do a few other things that y’all can write about and hopefully have some good things to say. But either way, I’ve got to own up to it. That’s what it was.”
“Going out there in these first few games, and last week, I was really able to get in there and run some,” he said. “To have the creases we had this past Friday was awesome. It was a good feeling. And I hate what happened at the end. I’m not going go back on it. I just know what I have to do this year. That’s all to be said. I have to stop talking about it. I just have to go do what I have to do.”