Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice deserved a break after winning the Super Bowl only a little over a month ago, but has he taken a break? Nope, he's hosting a promotion for Gillette during Spring Break and continues to train non-stop but took around ten minutes to speak on the phone with me recently about a variety of things.
Baltimore Beatdown (BB): So tell me about your participation in this Gillette promotion during Spring Break?
Rice: I'm actually going away to St. Barts for Spring Break and it's actually a Gillette national 'Kiss & Tell' experiment, where 85% of women prefer a shaven kiss and my lady definitely agrees. Gillette is going to six Spring Break hotspots, with recommendation of how to get a nice smooth shave and get your lady to give you a nice kiss on the cheek!
BB: So do you think any of the Ravens with facial hair should take this advice too?
Rice: Yeah, my teammates could definitely use a whole bunch of Gillette, especially the guys who get real scruffy, but on Spring Break you want to look good, you know? Obviously, Gillette's smooth shave is definitely good and they have the sensitive skin line, and some guys don't like to shave because they have sensitive skin but Gillette can definitely fix that.
BB: Speaking of your teammates, what do you think of Jacoby Jones' chances of winning 'Dancing With The Stars?'
Rice: Well you know what? He's a dancing maniac, so I think he has a good shot.
BB: The funny thing is, I work at a local gym in Baltimore and him and his partner, Karina Smirnoff have been practicing all week there and I've actually seen them and I thought he had a really good chance based on what he does in the end zone, but when I saw his first dance with Karina, I don't know now if I want to wager my money. Now, Flacco said that's one show he'd never be on. Would you ever consider being on something like that?
Rice: Nah, they got the perfect guy. He's the man for it!
BB: So with free agency about to start and a lot of guys on the fence about whether to come back, what do the Ravens need to do to not only repeat as division champs, but to repeat with another Lombardi Trophy?
Rice: I think with free agency about to start, keep as many guys as we can keep and just try to build. If we can keep the guys we won the championship with, obviously the jelling is a lot easier. It's always hard to replace someone who's already there. Just looking forward to see how it all shakes out. I'd definitely like to keep the guys that we had.
BB: How does it feel to go into an off season and look forward to another season knowing you have a contract and a payday coming. You don't have to deal with any of that, you can just focus on relaxing during this time and then getting ready for the season
Rice: It's a blessing because obviously I was in that position last year. Anytime you can get that business taken care of it's just something you can never take for granted. You get what you can get and you got to take advantage of it. It's one of those situations when every year, it's going to be different. We just appreciate having this ride, winning the Super Bowl because next year, everybody's going to have our number and we'll have to take everybody's best shot.
BB: Joe signs that huge contract and then later that day he's filmed at a McDonald's and then taking a shuttle to the airport. What's with this guy? No limo's, no catered meals, is this the typical Joe?
Rice: Yeah that's just Joe. The money's not going to change him. He'll probably hold onto the money, the majority of it. He's not a guy who's going to spend boatloads of money, he's just a guy who, just because he has it doesn't mean he has to spend it. He did a great job of leading our team this year and everything he got was well deserved.
BB: So the Ravens win the Super Bowl, they come back for a victory parade, you survive a near fall off of a float during that parade. What have you been doing during the 3-4 weeks since then? Do you go away, relax or go back to training? What does Ray Rice do since you won the Super Bowl?
Rice: I've been training. I'm going on my first trip on Friday. I've always been a person who got back to work at business. Take some time out for my family and then get right back to work. My job right now is to stay in shape so when the off season comes around, that means I can get back to my team in good shape.
BB: The playoffs were an amazing run with some amazing finishes, the blackout in New Orleans and that final play, that even Joe joked about running out onto the field to tackle the guy. The moment that clock hit zero, what was the first thing that you felt?
Rice: I just felt joy man, like, finally us. Finally the Ravens won the super Bowl. Everything you go through during the season, you never take these moments for granted because Lord knows we've been through a ride. It actually hurts more when you get that close and don't get it done. So for us to get that close now and actually get it done, it's something that nobody can ever take away from us.
BB: You have a lot of fans in the Rutgers, New Jersey area. I have a lot of friends up there and whenever they find out I'm a Ravens fan, the first person they mention is you. You got the contract, your successful, you're one of the best running backs in the league. You've got a Lombardi Trophy, you'll be getting a ring, what's next goal-wise for the individual Ray?
Rice: The next thing for me is finishing it off the right way. I think I'm at a point right now where I've proven I can play football but now I'm proving I can leave a legacy in the NFL. I'm still young, I'm 26 with a lot of football left and I plan on going out there, obviously taking care of my body but going out there trying to put together my best effort to leave my legacy Because in order to be great, you got to keep doing it year after year. That's what the great ones have done and that's where I'm heading at in the next chapter in my life.
BB: You say you're young and you have a lot of football ahead of you but you've played a lot of football in a short time of your NFL career. With Ray Lewis gone, you seem not afraid to be vocal and provide a veteran leadership, at least to the offensive side of this team. Talk about that.
Rice: I mean why not? You can be a leader or you can follow a leader. I've followed a great leader and obviously everybody knows who he is and that's somebody i don't mind being. I go out there and let my play speak. Now I'm going into my 6th year, I can mentor some young guys on this team, take that role. I just want them to follow me, follow the right things that im doing, try to get better with me.
BB: So coming out of that tunnel, with Ray not being there doing that dance, nobody can do it like Ray, even as hard as Jacoby tries, is there something else you're going to be working on for the 2013 season for your entrance out of that tunnel?
Rice: Nah man, I'll stick to my "flex," that's about it. I don't need to waste the energy, the game is already physical enough.
BB: Alright Ray, I really appreciate the time, I really appreciate the answers and good luck this year. You're a great guy and Baltimore loves you.
Rice: Alright, I appreciate that.