Rice Regrets Playing Through Hip Injury
After some time to reflect on his 2013 season, running back Ray Rice isn't so sure he made the right choice regarding one key decision.
He suffered a hip injury in Week 2 and chose to play through it. He only missed one game the rest of the season, starting all 15 others, but was never the same.
If Rice had to do it all over again, would he still try to play through the injury?
"I probably should have thought twice about it, but I'm glad I was able to push through the season and not have any surgical procedures," Rice told Ross Jones of FOXSports.com.
"One thing I know my body needed was rest, and we had a tough turnaround, and we didn't do what we wanted to this year, but I'm positive that things are looking better for next year already. … I was good enough to go, but I was limited with the things that I could do. That's never been me. That's something as a pro you have to weigh the good and the bad. For me it didn't work out in my favor this year, but I'll be smarter."
In the end, Rice recorded his worst season of his six-year NFL career, gaining just 660 rushing yards and averaging 3.1 yards per carry. He didn't show the same burst and explosion like the Rice we're accustomed to watching.
He compared trying to get through the season to driving a damaged vehicle.
"It's sort of like having your transmission messed up in your car where you can't get it in third and fourth gear," Rice said. "First and second gear are good, but if you want to go into overdrive you can't do it. Your body is not going to let you, and that's what muscular issues do."
The Ravens couldn't lean heavily on backup Bernard Pierce, who dealt with shoulder, knee, hamstring and toe injuries. He reportedly recently had rotator cuff surgery and is expected to fully recover in four to five months.
Baltimore is committed to reviving its run game after finishing 30th last season. It has already brought in Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak, whose system starts with the run. Rice is committed to dropping some muscular weight, and General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh expect to see Rice back in Pro Bowl form in 2014.
"That's not a surprise because that's what I expect out of myself," Rice said. "I'm not old. I'm 27 years old going into my seventh year.
"My resume speaks for itself. I'm not going to let one year put up what my future is going to be. I got a lot of game left in me, and I'm already gearing towards next year."
Ravens Expected To Get Four Compensatory Picks
The Ravens should get four compensatory draft picks in May, says ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
The four players the Ravens lost in free agency that should net picks include linebackers Paul Kruger* *and Dannell Ellerbe, cornerback Cary Williams and safety Ed Reed.
Some questioned whether Reed would net a pick because he was released by the Texans last season, but due to getting cut in Week 10, plus the size of his contract and playing time, the Ravens are expected to be rewarded. Safety Bernard Pollard won't net a comp pick because he was released by the Ravens* *(only free agents whose contracts expire net picks).
Additionally, the Ravens' signings of linebacker Elvis Dumervil, defensive lineman Chris Canty, safety Michael Huff and defensive lineman Marcus Spears won't count against them in the compensatory pick formula because all four were cut by their previous teams.
Hensley isn't sure which rounds the four picks will come in, but predicts best-case and worst-case scenarios:
Paul Kruger: 3rd round (best case)/4th round (worst case)
Dannell Ellerbe: 4th/4th
Cary Williams: 4th/5th
Ed Reed: 5th/7th
Ravens Try Out CFL Linebacker
Henoc Muamba, a middle linebacker in the Canadian Football League, tried out for the Ravens Monday, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. He wasn't immediately signed to the roster.
Muamba, 6-foot-0, 230 pounds, was voted the Blue Bombers' Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Most Outstanding Canadian last season.
The Ravens also tried out, but didn't sign, CFL defensive end/outside linebacker Cordarro Law and former Seahawks linebacker Craig Wilkins, per Wilson.
Brown: Seahawks Better Equipped To Repeat Than Ravens
Like so many Super Bowl winners before them, the Ravens missed out on a return trip to the playoffs after an 8-8 season. Their hopes to repeat as champs fell short with a Week 17 loss in Cincinnati.
Now it's the Seahawks' turn to try to repeat, and CSNBaltimore.com's Clifton Brown believes Seattle is better equipped to do so than the Ravens were.
Brown gives three reasons why: 1) the Seahawks won't gut their roster, 2) they are younger and 3) they have a dominant defense. Meanwhile, the Ravens had the most roster turnover* *of any other previous Super Bowl winner, had key players on the wrong side of 30 and ranked 17th in overall defense.
"[W]ill the Seahawks miss the playoffs next season, like the Ravens did this season?" Brown asked. "It's hard to see that happening. No NFL team has won back-to-back titles since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004. But the Seahawks look very capable of repeating."
- Pierce reportedly had rotator cuff surgery … @BPierce_30: Wanna give a shout to my Mom and @loyal4mine for taking off and being at the hospital when I needed them most! #FamilyFirst #Always #LAB [Twitter]
- @AlbertBreer [NFL Network]: Interesting looking at the offense/defense rankings of past Super Bowl champions ... Shows that defense wins in SBs now more than ever. … And here's the actual research -- where each Super Bowl champ since 1990 ranked league-wide in defense and offense [Twitter]
- @JasonLaCanfora [CBSSports.com]: Kyle Shanahan has agreed to a 3 yr deal as the new OC of the Cleveland Browns
- @Ravens: Disagree RT @ESPN_FirstTake: Skip's Best Defenses of All Time: 1. 85 @ChicagoBears; 2. 2013 @Seahawks; 3. 2000 @Ravens
- @RobertKlemko [SI.com]: Dead weight. RT @WNST: Sam Adams on Suggs: "Keep him and pay him. Suggs is another baller. We win on defense in Baltimore. Pay him Ozzie."
- @ryanmink: Sorry, not happening. RT @BrettHollander: Could a Super Bowl ever come to Baltimore?
- Super Bowl XLVIII set a Las Vegas record for the most money ever wagered, featuring $119 million bet, a record by more than $20 million. [CBSSports.com]
- Like the Ravens lost Reed in the aftermath of the Super Bowl, the Broncos may lose future Hall of Fame defensive back Champ Bailey. He is 35 years old and scheduled to make $10 million next season. [CSNBaltimore.com]
- The first question on all of our minds when the 9/11 truther made it onto the podium with Seahawks Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith at Met Life Stadium Sunday was, "How the heck did he get in there?" The truther, named Matthew Mills, explained how he was able to bypass a number of security checkpoints: "I just said I was running late for work and I had to get in there. It was that simple. I didn't think that I'd get that far. I just kept getting closer and closer. Once I got past the final gate and into the stadium, I was dumbfounded." [NewJersey.com]
- After a quiet Super Bowl, Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker could have chance to test the free agent market. [ProFootballTalk.com]