2014 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

Austin CollieJan 29 03:33a

Free-agent WR Austin Collie (Patriots) signed a contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League on Wednesday, Jan. 28.

Tom BradyJan 28 12:33p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (illness) admitted that he is currently battling a cold, but he said he expects to be 100% ready for the Super Bowl Sunday, [ More ]

Brandon MebaneJan 27 11:23p

Seattle Seahawks DL Brandon Mebane (hamstring) said Tuesday, Jan. 27, that his hamstring surgery went well and he should be full go for the team's offseason program in April.

Richard ShermanJan 27 11:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) has torn ligaments in his elbow, but he is improving daily and he is no longer receiving treatment for the injury.

LeGarrette BlountJan 27 08:33p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount should be a factor in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Feb. 1, in the opinion of Boston Herald writer Karen [ More ]

Adrian PetersonJan 27 07:43p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson was directed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to meet with a league-assigned psychiatrist following Peterson's suspension. The National Football League Players Association is now [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 27 12:23p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is an offensive weapon that the Seattle Seahawks are focused on shutting down during the Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1. Seahawks head coach [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

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