On Monday, Head Coach John Harbaugh suggested that there could be run game scheme changes on the way.
After three days of practice, running back
“Without going into too much detail, you’ll just see a lot more of the changes on Sunday in terms of what we’re going to do,” Rice told reporters. “We’re running the same stuff – it just might be out of a different formation or something.”
Rice said the blocking scheme is the same, “just with minor tweaks.”
The Ravens are currently tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for last in the NFL in average yards per rushing attempt (2.7). Baltimore is 27th in the league in rushing yards per game (72.7).
Harbaugh expressed confidence in the personnel the Ravens have to run the ball more effectively, and said they have to cut out situations where they don’t have a “hat on a hat” that lead to runs for negative yardage.
“We’re definitely making changes. We’re not going to sit there and stand pat with what we’re doing,” Harbaugh said Monday. “Whether there is personnel changes, or more likely scheme changes, [it’s] not major things. [It’s] just things that will give our guys a better chance to be on the same page. That’s what we need to do.”
Rice is averaging a career-low 2.8 yards per carry this season. He’s rushed for just 197 yards through five games and his longest carry of the season is 14 yards. His longest reception of the year went for 11 yards.
Fans haven’t yet seen the usual breakaway runs or ankle-breaking receptions for the Pro Bowl tailback.
Rice missed one game (Week 3 against Houston) because of a hip flexor strain. When asked about his health at this point of the season, he smiled and said, “I feel pretty good.”
Rice isn’t blaming his difficulties so far this year on his health, although he did talk as if it’s still a factor.
“This is an injury I’m going through. It’s not going to faze me,” he said. “I’ve played with some stuff. This is the first year I’ve had to deal with something like this. But I’m back. I feel pretty good.”
“There’s no way you can’t call me full strength. When I get a chance to hit [a hole], you’ll see I’m at full strength.”
Rice was asked if it was a frustrating week considering the problems in the run game.
“I don’t have frustration,” he said. “Like I said, I’m not winning football games enough.
“Honestly, I’m just looking forward to Sunday. It’s the Pittsburgh Steelers, great rivalry, and this is a great game to be a part of. It’s old-school football.”