WESTFIELD, Ind. — It seems as if the change to a 4-3 is suiting Hassan Ridgeway just fine so far.
The third-year Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle had two sacks and another tackle for loss in his team's 19-17 preseason-opening victory over the Seattle Seahawks, and today he earned a little praise for his performance.
Ridgeway was named to Pro Football Focus' "Team of the Week" for Week 1 of the NFL preseason.
Here's what PFF's Michael Renner wrote about Ridgeway, who earned an overall game grade of 89.7:
"Ridgeway has played a fairly unimpactful 975 snaps through his first two seasons in the NFL, but at only 23 years of age, he still has room to improve. Against the Seahawks, he registered two sacks and added three hurries for a superb night."
Selected by the Colts in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Ridgeway spent the first two seasons of his career as a key backup and spot starter at both nose tackle and defensive end in the Colts' 3-4 base defensive scheme under then-head coach Chuck Pagano.
In 29 career games with six starts, Ridgeway has compiled 35 tackles (five for a loss), 4.5 sacks and one pass defensed.
But the hiring of a new head coach, Frank Reich, and new defensive coordinator, Matt Eberflus, earlier this year meant a transition over to the 4-3 defensive scheme, in which interior defensive linemen like Ridgeway are much more free to simply go after the ballcarrier.
"It’s a system that I’m very comfortable in," Ridgeway told Colts.com's Bob Lamey this week. "I’m glad that they came and brought it here."
The Colts, in all, had four sacks in their preseason opener: two from Ridgeway, 1.5 from defensive end John Simon and a half-sack from defensive tackle/end Denico Autry.