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With running back Ray Rice becoming an aged veteran could the Ravens rely more heavily on Bernard Pierce this season?
We all know that, fan favorite and super star, Ray Rice did not have the best post season this year. With his three post season fumbles he put the ball on the turf more than he did all regular season. The Ravens front office brass have all stood behind Rice but there is no mistaking the fact that there may be a running back battle brewing here in Baltimore.
The Raves drafted Bernard Pierce in the third round of he 2012 draft. Pierce set rushing and touchdown records in college at Temple. To be quite honest I think the Ravens were stunned that a talent like Pierce was still available in the third round, kind of like when they drafted Rice in 2008 in the second round. Pierce showed this season that the intangibles he put on display in college do indeed translate to the NFL. As the season went on Pierce got more and more carries and the more carries he got the better he looked.
Bernard has a running style that is more prototypical to your primary ball carrier than Rice. Rice is more of a scat back that thrives in the short passing game but can still hurt you carrying the ball out of the back field. Pierce seems to hit the hole harder and always falls forward picking up those extra inches that can be so crucial in an offensive drive. I'm sure that new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell knows exactly what I mean.
Don't be surprised to see Pierce inserted into the staring line up in 2013 as the Ravens could start to use Rice more like the New Orleans Saints use running back Darren Sproles. This would limit the punishment put on Rice's body and keep him fresh for the post season run, all the while building confidence and experience for the younger Pierce. Both players look to be very special and the Ravens are lucky to have the option of using either one at any time but Pierce looks to be the future feature back for the Ravens with Rice as the extra pop that puts this offense over the top.