2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens RB Rice looking to regain Pro Bowl form

By DAVID GINSBURG - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-16 15:03

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Three quarterbacks have more yards rushing this season than Ray Rice, which goes a long way toward explaining why the Baltimore Ravens own the league's 27th-ranked running game and have a disappointing .500 record.

Rice has 197 yards on the ground and is averaging a mere 2.8 yards per attempt. Of his 71 carries, 40 have gone for two yards or fewer and 20 have been for negative or no yardage.

Rice is 33rd on the league's rushing list, behind quarterbacks Michael Vick, Terrell Pryor and Russell Wilson and only seven yards better than Kansas City signal-caller Alex Smith.

A portion of the blame needs to be directed at a struggling offensive line that has not quite overcome the loss of retired center Matt Birk. Rice, however, just doesn't appear to be zipping through the line in the manner that earned him three trips to the Pro Bowl.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco suggested Wednesday that Rice may still be feeling the effects of a hip flexor strain that sidelined him in Week 3.

``He was banged up for a couple of weeks, and this is his first couple weeks back,'' Flacco said. ``Anytime you get a little banged up and aren't 100 percent, you need some time before you can get full explosion.''

But Rice insisted his injury is not an issue.

Days after he ran for a season-high 74 yards on 24 carries in a 26-23 win over Miami on Oct. 6, Rice said, ``I had one injury. I'm all right. I've been pretty fresh. I'm getting there.''

Last Sunday, however, he ran for only 34 yards on 14 attempts and twice was stuffed from inside the Green Bay 4-yard line in a 19-17 defeat.

``We would love to run the ball better,'' Rice said. ``It's not something that you plan on, going out there and messing up. The run game has to get better. We'll just keep sawing at it.''

Baltimore (3-3) faces AFC North rival Pittsburgh (1-4) on Sunday, and the Ravens sure could use their running game in a physical duel between two teams that rarely rely on finesse.

``Obviously, we want to run the ball as much as we can,'' guard Marshal Yanda said. ``We want to get after them. Hopefully we get to, but you never know. We'd like to. We want to.''

The defending Super Bowl sure could use the Rice of a year ago, when the 5-foot-8 dynamo ran for 1,143 yards - an average of 4.4 yards per carry - and caught 61 passes for 478 yards. This year, Rice has only 20 catches, none for longer than 11 yards.

Rice is the only player in Ravens history to have four straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He's going to need to pick it up dramatically to make it five in a row.

The toughest thing is, Baltimore has been performing well in practice. But it has not thus far translated to success in games.

``We work so hard,'' Rice said. ``I know for a fact that what we get in, between weightlifting, practice and everything we do, what we put out there is a little frustrating.''

Wide receiver Torrey Smith believes it's been tough on Rice, not just because his numbers are down but because the defending champs are struggling overall.

``Ray has handled it as well as you can,'' Smith said. ``Obviously you're going to be frustrated, especially when you're him and you're used to performing a certain way. The biggest thing is we haven't been winning and we haven't been doing as well as we wanted to on offense. We haven't met our own expectations, and he's definitely frustrated with that.''

The Ravens have been working particularly hard this week to correct the team's most obvious flaw.

``Everything's got to come together better,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ``There's a lot that goes into it. There are many different things that we've looked at over the last few days to try to improve. We definitely have the men to do the job. We've got the talent up front and at running back.''

Yanda and his teammates on the offensive line are eager to do what they can to let Rice free again.

``I just think we need to keep fighting to get him going and open up holes the best we can, give him the best look we can,'' Yanda said. ``We want to let him do his thing because we all understand what he does best. He's a great player. We want to get him going.''

In other news, linebacker Jameel McClain returned to practice on Wednesday after missing 10 months with a spinal cord contusion.

``They tried to kill me, I'm not dead, I'm still here, doing what I love,'' McClain said.

The Ravens have three weeks to make a decision about whether to put him on the 53-man roster.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

Todd GurleyAug 24 06:52p

St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) will still sit out the entire preseason even though he has been cleared to practice, according to head coach Jeff Fisher.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 06:32p

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but the MRI revealed all of his other knee ligaments are fine.

Montee BallAug 24 05:22p

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball has already lost the backup running back role to RB Ronnie Hillman. RB Juwan Thompson may also surpass Ball in the near future, according to Mike Klis of 9news.com.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 05:22p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) is officially out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Jason McCourtyAug 24 04:42p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) is expected to miss a few games after undergoing groin surgery Monday, Aug. 24, according to sources.

Ronnie HillmanAug 24 04:32p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman has worked his way the second running back position behind RB C.J. Anderson. Hillman said head coach Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme has helped his [ More ]

Joique BellAug 24 04:02p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford said the Lions will still take a committee approach at running back even when Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') returns.

Joique BellAug 24 03:02p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') is expected to return this season as a bellcow running back, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Bell has been nursing injuries [ More ]

Maurkice PounceyAug 24 01:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) will undergo surgery on his fractured ankle Monday, Aug. 24, or Tuesday, Aug. 25. There is no timetable for his return, but it [ More ]

Jeremiah RatliffAug 24 01:42p

Chicago Bears DT Jeremiah Ratliff has been suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Jason Pierre-PaulAug 24 01:42p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) plans to report to the team before the start of the regular season but his status for Week 1 is uncertain, according [ More ]

Reggie WayneAug 24 01:22p

Free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (Colts) agreed to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots Monday, Aug. 24, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Michael PrestonAug 24 10:22a

Miami Dolphins WR Michael Preston posted on Twitter that he was released Sunday, Aug. 23.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group