Rice burnishes role as all-around playmaker

Running back doubles as weapon in rushing, passing games

October 01, 2011|By Edward Lee

The Ravens’ smallest player continues to loom large as a weapon on offense.

Running back Ray Rice ranks fourth in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage with 409. He ranks ninth in rushing (231 yards) and fifth among running backs in receiving (178).

Although he is less than two years removed from leading all running backs in catches (78) and receiving yards (702), the 5-foot-8 Rice at times is overlooked by opposing defenses.

That’s fine with Rice.

“I feel like if I go into a game and the team doesn’t respect me, then that’s on them,” said Rice, who is tied with wide receiver Anquan Boldin for the team lead in receptions (14) this season. “I feel like I’m a playmaker. I know if I get out in space, I can make a few guys miss. At the same time, I know I can’t get the run game started without my offensive line and the guys up front. I do feel like I have a little target on my back, but at the same time, it could be the opposite. You could be like a loner out there. It just shows the respect.”

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