“He Should Have Been Out There”

Rice sidelines

Looking back on the Ravens 2013 season one of the biggest disappointments for me and for many fans was the lack of production in the Ravens run game.

When I look back on seasons past the one thing you could always count on was the Ravens ground and pound run game yet the run offense was anything but that this year. As I sit here and write this, many things come to mind about this season’s abysmal performances by running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce.

As we all know the offensive line had serious issues with run blocking and the schemes of “Run Game Coordinator” Juan Castillo. But it was more than that. There are many questions surrounding Ray Rice at season’s end.

Is Ray Rice healthy or is the Ravens running back still struggling with his hip injury? Is his poor performance this year more of a product of a shoddy offensive line, or has father time caught up to Rice and the years of being the Ravens “go to” guy have taken a toll?

I am just not sure and frankly I don’t think the Ravens are sure either.

Against the Bengals Rice found himself as more of a spectator in the first half watching Bernard Pierce and Bernard Scott get most of the carries. While Rice saw his role increase in the second half John Harbaugh told members of the media after that Rice was kept on the sideline for situational purposes.

Situational purposes?

Huh…

Rice finished the season with 660 rushing yards good for the NFL’s 30th ranked ground attack not to mention Rice has averaged nearly 300 touches a year in his first six seasons with the Ravens, and he’s a situational back?

Well on Tuesday the plot thickened as Ravens head coach John Harbaugh made a comment about Ray Rice that was very interesting.

“I really can’t explain that adequately in all honesty,” Harbaugh said at his presser when pressed about why Rice was on the sideline.

“That was something that happened during the game that, when I looked over and saw it, I put him back in the game. I don’t have that answer for you right now. He should’ve been out there.”

Is there a rift in the coaching staff?

Were the Ravens saving him for some miraculous reason?

Once in the game Rice showed some burst getting to the outside to convert a two-point conversion and finished with 15 rushing yards on six attempts.

With the Ravens facing tough salary cap questions this offseason, Rice is unlikely to be released due to amount of “Dead Money” ($14.25 M) he would carry. In fact it would be more expensive to release him than for him to return.

Rice deserves a chance to redeem himself in 2014.

Harbaugh acknowledged his confidence that Ray Rice will deliver on his vow to come back next season in the best shape of his life and have a resurgent year.

Time will tell though just how much confidence they have in him.

Is Ray Rice a player in decline?
Yes, his best games are behind him (35%)
No he was slowed by injuries and will return to form (65%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.

Follow me on Twitter @sportguyRSR

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About Brian Bower

Brian Bower
Brian Bower is avid football fan who was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Brian has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past two years for FootballNewsNow.com. His work has been featured on NFL.com and ESPN blogs. He is also a regular guest...more

14 Raves on ““He Should Have Been Out There”

  1. teresa on said:

    believe it he is the kind of player that wants to do his best and he will. i have all the faith in the world luv ya RAY RICE!

  2. rob on said:

    He needs to stop working out his legs, they are like tree trunks…too big! He didn’t come into camp in shape and it showed from the first snap.

    • Mac on said:

      Yeah, I think I remember him commenting in the offseason about how much he does in the leg press. Big thighs and calves but he doesn’t look flexible when he runs. Pierce on the other hand has a long, powerful stride.

    • Reading Comments By Goofies on said:

      I thought that was the previous administration. He just never said it and could have been easily impeached if not for having the majority in congress.
      Harbaugh’s team did win the SB last year. We will see if when Harbaugh’s days here are over will the Ravens will be left in shambles like nit wit left the country in.
      Those who live in glass house should not throw stones.

  3. Wende on said:

    can’t blame the lack of yards on running when none of them did much this season..had Ray been the only one not producing maybe you could argue it’s on him..if this team was healthy from the start and most of the season I have no doubts the end results would be looking a lot different right now..they cleared out the players now they need to bite the bullet and look at the coaches…every game I watched I was thinking…WTF..I would have rather seen the ball fly all season then a running game that ran into blocks E.V.E.R single time..seemed like the other teams had listened in on the game plan..pretty frustrating.!!!!

    Confirm you are a human…again…WTF……inside joke.??

  4. Ethan Diaz on said:

    Hi I’M Ethan Diaz i’m only 12 years old i’m a big fan of the ravens mostly Ray Rice i have a lot of Faith in Ray Rice i the games that he didn’t do good in are in the past Ray Rice is one of the best players in NFL history i know he will be in the Hall Of Fame and be one of the BEST running back in history he will be in the rank with Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders and the raven fans out there just have to have a lot of Faith in Ray Rice.

  5. Ebuhuel on said:

    It is a combination of a offensive line not working as it supposed to and injuries Ray rice got cause of a shoddy offensive line. I would bet my ass if we fire juan castillo and get a descent working oline Ray rice wil have a 1000+ yards rushing season again

  6. Hut Guy on said:

    Ray Rice will return with a vengeance in 2014. It brings back memories of Colts fans saying Lenny Moore was finished after the 63 season. However, Lenny took it to heart and in 64 had a phenomenal season both on the ground and catching the ball. Ray Rice will take this season to heart and he will make this season a distant memory in 2014. Ray was hurt and the line blocking was abysmal…….he will be back !!

  7. frank g on said:

    Why did Harbough knowingly keep wasting handoffs to Rice when he knew this guy was hurt.The most he could do is one or two yards at best.Why did Ozzie or Bisconti step in and do something?

  8. Kevin on said:

    It is my opinion that Rice didn’t look good this season. He used to break tackles with regularity. However, this season he was down by the first tackler everytime. In many cases he looked “easy” to tackle. the O-line didn’t help matters and I believe that is #1 priority this season, but dang Rice Break some tackles will ya?
    Because of the inability to break tackles this season has me most concerned I am leaning towards Rice actually having lost something due to age and on the decline….

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