After the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl in early February, Ray Rice — from a individual stand point — may have had a bitter-sweet moment.
Losing a fumble in the Super Bowl and also coughing it up in the wild-card round against the Indianapolis Colts left a lot Ravens fans lingering about the future, as well as the question of how much the Ravens should have paid Rice.
To compound that, fellow running back Bernard Pierce made the best of his role during the latter stages of the regular season and the playoffs, making Ravens fans question if Rice should have a diminished role.
Rice is a rare breed, as evidenced by his miraculous fourth-and-29 conversion against the San Diego Chargers. The common theme among people in NFL circles and even among fans including myself is the fact that backs are a dime a dozen in this league.
Well, to set things straight, the second coming of Rice isn’t walking through that door.
MVP Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy or Jamaal Charles are walking through that door, either.
If running backs were that easy to find, Green Bay may have been Baltimore’s opponent in the Super Bowl.
The Ravens should look to embrace Rice and Pierce. Rice had a bad stretch, for his standards.
At the same time, we could be looking at a future Hall of Famer here. Critics always talk about the dreaded age 30 season — in which most running backs can no longer play the way they have for the early duration of their career. But in Rice’s case, the fact that he is so small, quick and able to avoid tackles the way he does should add more years to his career.
His receiving skills out of the back field are something many teams are looking for in today’s NFL.
So, while people can question whether or not Rice is worth the money, just factor in that the Ravens are still a physical running team — despite what they paid quarterback Joe Flacco.
The foundation of a physical team will never be lost with this current group of Ravens.