Stevan Ridley opens eyes in preseason debut

There were plenty of performances worthy of attention Thursday night in the New England Patriots’ 47-12 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars to open preseason.

Maybe the most eye-opening was the hard running by rookie Stevan Ridley, a third-round draft pick from LSU. He scored three touchdowns in the rout and rushed for 64 yards on 16 carries, giving him a good start as he works to lock down a job as a short-yardage back. He’s certainly got a nose for the end zone after scoring 15 touchdowns as a junior in college last season.

I thought he ran hard,” coach Bill Belichick said, according to Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald.

It’s a crowded backfield in New England and Shane Vereen remains sidelined. Ridley, who also caught seven passes for 47 yards, certainly has an early leg up in competition for playing time.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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