With Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak’s run-first offense, Rice will see plenty of action in 2014. And the offense’s success will largely rest on his stocky legs.
“I think as he goes, we’ll go,” Kubiak said of Rice in an interview with BaltimoreRavens.com.
“Our goal is to get him going, and he’s excited to get going and put last year behind him.”
Rice’s drop-off in production is well-known at this point.
He went from four straight years with more than 1,100 yards rushing to 660 yards rushing. He posted the fewest yards per carry (3.1) of his career. He scored just four touchdowns, his lowest total since his rookie year in 2008.
When Rice met face-to-face with Kubiak for the first time recently, Rice largely talked about forgetting last year and moving forward. Kubiak is on board with that.
“We’ve just got to get him going, doing what he does best, and that’s us studying him and fitting him with our system and those type of things,” Kubiak said. “We’ve got to get Ray going. That’s the bottom line.”
How exactly Kubiak will fit Rice into his zone running scheme is still unknown at this point, but Kubiak has had many different sizes and styles of running backs during his years in Denver and Houston.
Arian Foster was a bigger (6-foot-1, 227 pounds), one-cut back.
“Size-wise, they’re a lot alike,” Kubiak said of Pierce and Foster.
Kubiak shared the carries between Foster and backup Ben Tate in Houston. And he’ll do the same in Baltimore with Rice and Pierce.
“I think in this league nowadays you need a couple of guys,” Kubiak said. “It’s hard to hand it to one guy 30 times a game; they just get worn down. It’ll take both of them. They’re very talented and if we can get both of them going, the better we’ll be.”