Surprised Rice Already Mentioning Retirement?
It seems like yesterday that the Ravens drafted Ray Rice, and now the 26-year-old running back has already mentioned the R-word.
Yes, the three-time Pro Bowler has targeted his 30th birthday as the time to consider hanging up his cleats.
"It's always something to think about at the running back position," Rice told Boston media yesterday, per Tom Curran of CSNNE.com. "I'll just put it out there — my goal was to make it 10 years in the NFL. Anything after 10, if I can't do it the way I want to, then it's something to think about.
"But, I'm young. I came in the NFL at 21 years old, a young guy. So, I'm still young; I'm only going to be 27 in January. So, there's a lot of football left to be played. With that being said, I have priorities too. You know I have a young daughter, and you've just got to put all that in perspective when you're going out there week-in and week-out, especially when you get older in your career."
It's "unusual” to hear a young NFL player like Rice talk about retirement, says PFT.com's Josh Alper, but this year has given him a new perspective.
He got on the subject of longevity after answering a string of questions about making it through a statically down year (3.1 yards per carry average), and Rice said, "I've been dealing with injuries this year. This has been a different year for me. … The injury I had this year wasn't something that you just bounce back from and say, 'Oh you know I had a hip…' It is definitely very hard to play through week in and week out."
The shelf life for an NFL running back is short because of the wear and tear of the position, and most backs quickly go downhill when they hit 30. Rice acknowledged that trend.
So it's "easier to understand why the possibility [of retirement] has crossed Rice's mind," wrote Alper.
And even though Rice already has a retirement target four years down the road – which is light years away in NFL time – The Baltimore Sun's Matt Vensel doesn't think it's a big deal.
"Ray Rice's comments on considering retirement when he turns 30 shouldn't be a concern considering he is 26 and the short shelf life for RBs," Vensel tweeted. "I get what Ray is saying, though. Running back is a punishing position and no one will blame him if he gets out while he can still walk."
Brady Not Sending Suggs Christmas Card
Terrell Suggs didn't take the bait.
The old Suggs may have, but the new reserved Suggs didn't.
"Terrell, if [Tom] Brady took a hit the way [Joe Flacco] did, you think they would have called a penalty?" a reporter asked him yesterday.
The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec was there for the question. He saw Suggs pause. He smiled. He was "clearly thinking" of the politically correct response.
"Different referees see different things," Suggs said. "You never really know."
He then added: "I see what you're doing. I appreciate it."
You'll remember Suggs wasn't happy when he was flagged in 2009 after falling next to Brady's feet during a play, grazing the quarterback's leg as he hit the turf. It wasn't close to being as bad as the hit Flacco took, which went flag-less.
"Suggs] managed to avoid bulletin board material,” wrote The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian. “He was on his [best behavior. He wouldn't jump in when offered any chances to snipe at Brady."
Guregian compared the Suggs-Brady rivalry to the Manning-Brady rivalry, except this one is less friendly and Suggs can actually hit Brady.
While Brady hasn't thrown out as many inflammatory remarks as Suggs, it's clear the Patriots quarterback isn't very fond of the outside linebacker.
Asked yesterday if Suggs was on his Christmas card list, Brady replied with a smile, "No. Probably not. Maybe one of these years we'll get together for dinner or something."
"Brady then provided a look that let you know 'one of these years' meant a million years," Guregian noted.
In the past, Suggs wasn't as shy about expressing his feelings for Brady.
When asked by ESPN's E:60 in an interview that aired in October what he thought about the quarterback he never calls by name, Suggs said, "I don't think that's appropriate for camera. I don't like him, he don't like me.
"I don't like his hair."
Well, popular sports blogger Terez Owens can help with that. He did a series of photoshopped pictures of NFL quarterbacks. Here's the one of Brady.
Flacco Has 'Mild' MCL Sprain
The MRI that Flacco wasn't supposed to have revealed that he has a “mild” MCL sprain.
After ESPN reported that Flacco would not have an MRI, the outlet reported the optimistic results after he ended up having one anyway.
"There's a little more evidence the left knee injury suffered by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco on Monday night is shaping up as just a scare," wrote PFT.com's Mike Wilkening.
Flacco wore a brace on his knee in his limited participation in practice yesterday and he is expected to play Sunday.
Hilarious Rant On People Taking Fantasy Too Seriously
Thank you for this video, Michael Jenkins.
Your combination of truth, hilarity, voices and facial expressions about people who take fantasy football too seriously is perfect. Mobile users watch the video below by tapping the "View in Browser" button at the top of the page.
Jenkins's rant came after Justin Tucker gave a shout out to his fantasy owners on a nationally-televised ESPN interview and Torrey Smith bashed others who take it too far.
"As I always say I dislike fantasy football because it takes away the real value of the game...it's great for the fans to interact and be their own "GM" but people take it way to serious," Smith tweeted. "I saw someone tweet that CJ is the worst player on the league....those type of fantasy fans are the ones that drive me crazy."
Power Rankings: Week 16
ProFootballTalk.com, Mike Florio: No. 8 (jumped three spots)
"Great teams find a way to win in December."
The Baltimore Sun, Matt Vensel: No. 8 (jumped four spots)
"As the Ravens streak toward the playoffs, I can't help but think that this team is a little reminiscent of last year's bunch in the way that they overcome adversity. I'm not saying they will win the Super Bowl, but..."
Fox Sports, Brian Billick: No. 12 (jumped two spots)
"With the win on Monday night, the Ravens maintain the sixth seed as they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Dolphins, who also have an 8-6 record."
SportingNews.com, Vinnie Iyer: No. 12 (no movement)
"Justin Tucker put them in this position with his field goals from 20-, 30-, 40-, 50-, and 60-yard ranges in Detroit. It was a clutch performance in a win that gives the Ravens a much better shot at both the AFC wild card and North titles."
ESPN, Panel of six voters: No. 12 (jumped two spots)
"What a day for Justin Tucker, tying a franchise record with six field goals. Baltimore is the second team to win this season without scoring a touchdown (Giants in Week 8). "
CBSSports.com, Pete Prisco: No. 12 (jumped two spots)
"That was a big-time victory on the road against the Lions. Justin Tucker: Team MVP."
SB Nation, Jason Chilton: No. 13 (jumped one spot from last week)
"The Ravens pulled out a nail-biter in Motown, leaning on the big leg of team MVP Justin Tucker to knock in an insane 61-yarder to pull off the victory. Baltimore's non-Tucker offense didn't dazzle anyone. Joe Flacco played turnover-free and the Ravens' pass defense did just enough to contain Megatron while waiting for Stafford to be Stafford and give them the ball. Win out and they're in, but tough contests with New England and Cincinnati still loom."
NFL.com, Elliot Harrison: No. 14 (jumped one spot)
"Can the Ravens do it again? You'll recall that last year, they lost four of their last five regular-season games ... and still won the AFC North before going on their Super Bowl run. Now Baltimore must beat the Gronkless Pats and then take down the Bengals in Week 17 (unless Matt Cassel impersonates Joe Montana again and leads the Vikings to a win in Cincinnati this Sunday)."
- "When you look back on the way the Ravens won their last three games, it's hard not to start thinking in cosmic terms," wrote Peter Schmuck. "This invariably leads to the use of words like "destiny" and "karma" to explain the strange and wonderful confluence of events that saved this season – at least so far. The players and coaches prefer the word "faith," though more in the context of confidence in each other than divine providence. … They need to recognize, however, that good fortune has smiled very brightly upon them and it is something that cannot be taken for granted. The only thing that is certain about good luck is that it will eventually run out. Faith is not a gameplan." [The Baltimore Sun]
@Ravens: Our grounds crew is clearing snow off the practice fields to head outside this week! #snow #Baltimore #allweather [Twitter] * @RavensInsider: James Ihedigbo on DeAndre Levy hit on Joe Flacco: 'For the refs to miss something so blatant like that, it’s unacceptable.' [Twitter] * @CliftonBrownCSN: Harbaugh spoke to #NFL office about knee hit on Flacco. "They're going to send it up for discipline. We'll just have to see." #RavensTalk [Twitter] * @gdowning14: This week could be a chance for the Ravens to move the ball on the ground... Patriots rank 31st in the NFL against the run. [Twitter] * @ryanmink: After watching tape, I'm 99% sure would have had a TD had DeAngelo Tyson lateraled him the ball after his INT. [Twitter] * @BenVolin: Brady on Matt Elam: "Friggin Baltimore. They always have good defense." [Twitter] * @PMGleason: The #Ravens have won 10-straight regular season home finales, which is the NFL's longest active streak. #PatriotsWeek [Twitter] * @jtuck9: Appreciate all the kind words and the idea of a nickname, but 'Legatron' has alrdy been earned by another quality PK, Greg Z..Open to ideas! [Twitter] * @jamisonhensley: December chill? Forecast for Sunday's #Ravens-#Patriots game is 73 degrees with 50 percent chance of rain. [Twitter] * @ryanmink: Wow RT @BSL_Bryden: Jimmy Smith was aligned opposite Calvin Johnson for 47 of 61 snaps (77%). Smith was not beaten in man coverage all game. [Twitter] * After containing Megatron, the Baltimore secondary now must worry about Minitron. [The Baltimore Sun] * Herm Edwards discusses the teams with nine or fewer wins that could get hot at the right time and advance to the Super Bowl. Did he pick the Ravens? [Twitter]