Inside Answers: Ray Rice

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*For the latest edition of Inside Answers, where we've taken questions from fans and brought them to a top performer in the Ravens' most-recent game. *

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Here's running back Ray Rice with his answers to your questions about Baltimore's win over the Jets and the upcoming season.

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[Ed. note: Questions may have been edited for clarity.]

Brittin Clark, Ridgewood, NJ:Ray - What do you miss most about playing in the NCAA? You've made a lot of Rutgers fans become Ravens fans!

Rice: "It would have to be the Scarlet Walk.  You walked through the crowd and saw all the Rutgers fans wearing red and cheering you on as you get to the stadium.  I still love my Rutgers fans.  I need to get some more Rutgers gear here in Baltimore."

Jean-Luc LaDouceur, Dundalk, Md.:Hi Ray, love what you add to the offense. You run low and hard, always pick up the blitz, and are dangerous in the open field. I am glad you slipped to us last year.

My question has two parts. First, what was it like finally getting into the end zone after playing well for such a long time and coming up short on a number of occasions? Second, I noticed you held onto the pigskin after scoring, what do you plan on doing with the ball? Thanks.

Rice: "First of all, it was an unbelievable feeling to get into the end zone. It was my first, and I hope it was the first of many.  After I scored, I took it to the sideline and gave it to the equipment guys.  They sent it away to get it painted with the date and stuff, and I should be getting it back this week in a display case.  That's going in my home.  I'll never forget the first one."

Glenward Fuchs, Owensboro, Ky.:What was it like to be brought onto a team with so many veterans and hall of fame hopefulls (Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Chris McAlister, Derrick Mason)?

Rice:"It was pretty incredible.  I grew up watching a lot of these guys, and now I'm in the same locker room with them.  I'm friends with a lot of them.  Ray has really been a good mentor for me. I can go to him and talk to him about anything.  These guys have become more than just teammates to me."

Don Hefner, Bel Air, Md.:Being an undersized back must have its advantages and disadvantages.  What types of plays give you an advantage over bigger defensive players?

Rice:"I like to think that by the time you get to me, I've already picked up 4 or 5 yards.  I have a low center of gravity and I think good power.  And, it's hard to get a clean hit on a smaller back.  I don't take a lot of big hits, and I think that's good for my career.  My size has never been an issue.  If anything, I believe it is a positive for me."

Justin Ancheta, Berlin, Md.:Congratulations to you on your first rushing touchdown after coming so close many times last season. I hope you kept the game ball. What's it like as a player to walk onto the field at a sold out M&T Bank Stadium?

Rice: "It was pretty surreal.  The stadium in Baltimore gets crazy.  It was so loud, which I love.  And for that game, my mom was in town, so she got to see my first score.  Getting the touchdown at home was really special.  I don't think it would have felt as good as it did if I had scored for the first time on the road.

"I couldn't think of anything like a dance or something to do coming out of the tunnel, though.  That might come in the future.  I just gave thanks to God for the opportunity and ran out."

Chris Smith, Milburn, N.Y.:Hey Rey do you have a special bond with Joe Flacco because you both came into this team as a rookie?

Rice: "Well, you have to have a bond with your quarterback, but the fact that me and Joe did come in at the same time is pretty cool.  He was the first, I was the second.  We'll hopefully be together for a long time in Baltimore."

Auntie Nina, New Rochelle, N.Y.:What is your favorite pie?

Rice:"Hey!  That's my favorite auntie from New York.  It would have to be apple, but you know that."

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