RB Stevan Ridley has added another element to the New England offense (US Presswire)

The New England Patriots are a run-first team.

Well, maybe we haven't reached that point, but New England is now as committed to the run as it is the pass. For the first time since 2004, the Patriots have run the ball (191) more times than they’ve passed it (185).

We’ve entered a strange and different world, but QB Tom Brady isn’t mad about it. In fact, the Patriots quarterback is happy to pass some of the pressure he feels each week onto someone else.

“I don’t think there’s been pressure off me in a long time. I think that’s part of the position and probably all NFL quarterbacks feel that,” Brady said. “Believe me, it’s nice to be able to hand it off and run the ball.”

The reason for the shift in philosophy has been due to the success of second-year running back Stevan Ridley, who currently ranks fourth in the NFL with 490 rushing yards. He also leads the league with nine carries of 15 or more yards. 

Ridley will be put to the test this week against a Seattle defense that has allowed an average of 66 yards per game, but he’s happy to have the opportunity to help ease some of Brady’s load.

“A lot of people key on him, and our running back group has to get some pressure off him so he can be the quarterback he can be,” Ridley said. “If they’re sitting back there staring Brady in the face every play … we can’t be a one-dimensional offense. So we’re taking pride in that.”

Different in every way: Some media folks have spent the week trying to illustrate the differences between Bill Belichick and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who coached the Patriots before Belichick. This is one that needs little explanation, though. Carroll is energetic and engaging, Belichick is, well, reserved.

"Bill is old-fashioned, Bill is laid back," DT Vince Wilfork said. "Everybody has their own way of showing emotion, or how they coach, or how they play, it's just different. I try not to compare guys, but it's different." 

Edelman back: WR Julian Edelman returned to practice Thursday after missing the last two weeks with a hand injury. He wore a soft cast on his left hand. 

In addition, Brady (right shoulder) was removed from the injury report.

Did not participate: S Steve Gregory (hip), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (concussion), LB Tracy White (foot). Limited: Edelman (hand) RB Brandon Bolden (knee), DE Brandon Deaderick (ankle), DT Justin Francis (ankle), TE Rob Gronkowski (hip), TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle), LB Dont'a Hightower (hamstring), G Logan Mankins (calf/hip), OL Nick McDonald (shoulder), CB Sterling Moore (knee), RB Shane Vereen (foot), OT Sebastian Vollmer (back/knee), WR Wes Welker (ankle). Full: DT Kyle Love (knee).

Nick Underhill covers the Patriots for MassLive.com. Follow him on Twitter @CBSPats or @nick_underhill.