Rice says his involvement in offense hasn't changed

Pro Bowl running back said he's not worried about getting his touches

October 26, 2011|By Edward Lee

Ray Rice set season lows in carries (eight), rushing yards (28) and total yards from scrimmage (63) in the Ravens’ 12-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night, but the starting tailback said his role in the offense hasn’t been diminished.

“Yeah, I definitely expect to be more involved,” Rice said after Wednesday’s practice. “My involvement hasn’t changed in this offense since the beginning of the season. But I don’t want [offensive coordinator] Cam [Cameron] to feel like they’ve got to force me the ball. I’m not that kind of guy. My carries come when the whole offense has success, and I look forward to having that success going forward.”

Rice’s protests notwithstanding, both coach John Harbaugh and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said that Rice should have gotten more touches. Said Suggs: “It baffles me that Ray Rice only had [eight] carries. This is a Pro Bowl running back we’re talking about.”

Rice – who wanted to focus on the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday’s opponent – sounded appreciative of Suggs’ support, but said he wasn’t worried about his reduced role Monday night.

“If we were getting first downs, I’m sure I was going to get my carries,” Rice said. “I wasn’t really too concerned with it. This week is a totally different week. We’re not going to ignore the fact that it did happen. We didn’t execute. … It’s us as a whole offense. I don’t want to be the guy who is singled out or is begging for carries. But at the same time, I do know that when we’re getting first downs, I touch the ball. We’ll get that as the week goes. It actually felt good to get out there and practice today to get that rust off from the last game. It just felt good to get back to work today.”

Rice also addressed an implication on ESPN’s telecast of the game that he and running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery had some sort of exchange and that he had been benched in the latter stages of the game.

“I was just trying to find a groove. I was not taken out,” Rice said. “Me and Wilbert Montgomery did not get into any altercation. I was in those series. We were just trying to find a groove. There was no play-calling issues, there were no issues on the sideline. We were just trying to find the answers to move the ball. It had nothing to do with me and the fumble. It had everything to do with us trying to find the answer to get to the next drive.”

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