Camp Spotlight: Running back Stevan Ridley

Posted Aug 5, 2016

Tim Twentyman tracks the performance of running back Stevan Ridley during Day 7 of training camp practice.


Position: Running back

Ht./Wt.: 5-11, 220

College: LSU

Experience: 6th season

Outlook: Ridley enters his sixth NFL season following previous stints with the New England Patriots (2011-14) and New York Jets (2015).

He’s expected to bring toughness and a crafty between-the-tackles running style to the Lions' backfield. Second-year running back Ameer Abdullah is expected to be the No. 1 option running the football, but depending on the matchup from week to week, Ridley could see his fair share of carries.

Ridley is only a few seasons removed from a career high 1,263 yards on 290 carries and 12 touchdowns in 2012.

He has played in 60 games (26 starts), so he also brings experience to that room.

Right now Ridley looks to be the third back on the depth chart behind Abdullah and Theo Riddick, but his power and inside running ability bring a different dimension to the offense, and will be utilized.

He runs with great pad level and power. Right now he seems to be a very good complement to Abdullah and Riddick. The preseason will give us more information on the group as a whole, but if everyone plays to their strengths, they should be fine.

Practice report: Ridley isn’t a strong receiver out of the backfield, but that’s OK because Riddick and Abdullah are. Ridley is here to give them a presence inside the tackles. It doesn’t take long when watching practice to know that’s where makes a living.

He was heavily featured in Friday’s 7-on-9 rushing drill, where the one thing that stood out the most was his patience. The first run of the drill was designed to go inside, but the hole was plugged. Ridley saw an opening outside and was fast enough to catch the edge and make a nice gain out of it.

Ridley’s 220-pound frame allows him to take on blitzing linebackers, and he’s shown a willingness to step up and take them on in practice in pass protection. That's more valuable than some might think.

He was the target of a screen pass later on in practice during a team drill, but defensive tackle Gabe Wright and linebacker Khaseem Greene snuffed it out.

Quotable: “I just have to go out there and do what I do,” Ridley said after practice Friday. “I’m going on year six in the league and I’ve made my living running between the tackles. So, however they choose to use me is what I’m willing to do.

“I’ve been running the ball a long time. If Sundays call for me to run it and pound it between the tackles, then so be it. If that’s what this offense needs, then so be it.”