Rice prepared for more scrutiny from Steelers

Running back knows he will be marked man Sunday night

November 05, 2011|By Edward Lee

In the last 58 contests, the Pittsburgh Steelers have allowed just three 100-yard rushing games – and two of them have been recorded by Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Rice gained 141 yards on Dec. 27, 2009. More recently, he amassed 107 yards in the Ravens’ 35-7 thumping of Pittsburgh on Sept. 11.

With that in mind, Rice said he is gearing up for a concerted effort from the Steelers defense.

“They’re going to do everything in their power to stop everything that we’ve done,” Rice said Wednesday. “Not only did we run the ball the first time, we passed it efficiently as well. They’re similar to our defense. They’re going to go into the game saying we’re going to stop the run first. And that’s a great way for a defense to attack any game plan. But at the same time, it’s like the tale of two worlds. Our teams are so similar. We already know the game is going to be physical, and you turn on the film last week – and I know everybody’s saying who is going to be out, I’m not worried about that – because [Pittsburgh coach Mike] Tomlin always does a great job of having the next man ready. Obviously, stopping the run will be something they’ll plan on doing, and I’m sure we’ll do the same as we approach the game.”

If the Ravens’ success in their comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals this past Sunday is any indication, the offense could lean on the no-huddle, shotgun formation to give quarterback Joe Flacco more time to read the defense and exhaust the Pittsburgh players.

That’s fine, but Rice said going to the shotgun does have one drawback.

“We showed our ability to play out of the gun. At the same time, I always said, in the gun we take one of our most physical players off the field in [fullback] Vonta Leach,” Rice said. “I don’t think our offense is meant to be one-dimensional, but at the same time, if you get a tempo going, get something going, it’s hard to shy away from it. But at the same time, we know what kind of team we try to be. So I’m looking forward to going out there and having a more complete offense. Obviously, in last week’s situation and the week before against Jacksonville, we were playing from behind and we had a hard time executing. But at the same time, the last quarters of the Cardinals game showed that if we do execute, then we can be a well-balanced offense.”

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