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The Caw: Ray Rice Is An Honorary Defensive Lineman

Posted Dec 15, 2013

Running back Ray Rice warms up with the defensive line before every game.

Amidst the giants warming up for each Ravens game is little 5-foot-8 Ray Rice in a three-point stance.

Rice warms up with the Ravens defensive linemen before every single game. It’s a tradition.

I asked Ray why and was amused by his answer.

“My first position in football was nose guard,” he said.

“Essentially on Sunday’s I’m a nose guard at heart. I just have the skillset of a running back.”

Rice said he started the tradition in Baltimore. He didn’t do it in high school or college at Rutgers.

“When you make it to the top, it’s kind of good to put yourself back to where you came from,” he said. “I put myself back in my shoes and become a nose guard.”

The defensive linemen love it. They dubbed him an honorary defensive lineman a couple years ago.

“He would warm up with us and it was when he was balling, so we were like, ‘Yeah, you’re part of us,’” defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said.

The defensive line included Rice in the position group’s team photo this year. Rice keeps the picture in his locker.

“You wonder why Haloti and them never really tackle me in practice?” Rice said. “The only one that tackles me is Art [Jones] because we have that love-hate relationship because of all the yards I had on him at Syracuse. He’s trying to take some of them back.”

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