Steelers' Stevan Ridley OK with regretful Randy Fichtner not playing him in Week 1
A day after Randy Fichtner all but publicly apologized for not getting him into the game Sunday, backup running back Stevan Ridley gave what could be described as a verbal shrug.
“It happens,” Ridley said after Pittsburgh Steelers practice Friday. “Game kind of happens fast, a lot going on – (rainy, windy) elements, James (Conner’s) first game (as a starter), (Fichtner’s) first game (as offensive coordinator). It was a lot. So nobody’s sweating that.”
“I ain’t got nothing but love for Randy.”
An eight-year veteran who beat out Fitzgerald Toussaint and rookie Jaylen Samuels for the No. 2 job behind Conner (with Le’Veon Bell absent) to start the season, Ridley was limited to four special-teams snaps during Sunday’s season-opening 21-21 tie at Cleveland.
The second-year Conner more than doubled his career offensive snaps (77) and touches (36) in the game. His production also waned as the game went on: after having 108 rushing yards over his first 17 carries, Conner had 27 yards over his final 14.
Fichtner on Thursday expressed regret for not getting Ridley more snaps or series.
“Probably chalk that up to me being a young coordinator in this league,” said Fichtner, who called plays in an NFL game for the first time last week. “I should’ve got other running backs in, and… I know that.”
Bell, incidentally, has not signed his franchise tag tender nor reported to the Steelers yet because, his agent said last week, he doesn’t want his body to endure a heavy workload months before he heads into free agency.
Bell played 91 percent of the Steelers’ offensive snaps over the 15 games he played last season.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.