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Ravens' Bernard Pierce outplaying Ray Rice?

Coach John Harbaugh recently noted that Ray Rice is showing "good burst" and acceleration in Baltimore Ravens camp after a disastrous 2013 season.

As rejuvenated as Rice appears to be this summer, he might not even be the best bounce-back candidate in the Ravens' backfield.

Fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery, Bernard Pierce has been "the best running back in camp," according to's Jamison Hensley.

Pierce has a slight advantage in that his college coaches ran a zone-blocking scheme similar to the one being implemented by new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.

After an impressive rookie season, Pierce mirrored Rice's 2013 struggles while playing through shoulder, hamstring, toe and knee injuries behind a blocking scheme that failed to consistently open holes.

The Ravens aren't the only team with high 2014 expectations for their likely Week 1 starter.

"We like Pierce," one NFL scout recently told Dan Pompei of Sports on Earth. "He's big, powerful and versatile. If he's in shape and healthy, he should be a factor."

Harbaugh promised to overhaul his historically poor rushing attack this offseason. The early-camp results look promising for an offense that should be one of the league's most improved.

The latest Around The League Podcast debates which offense will be the NFL's most prolific and dives into the quarterback battles in Cleveland and Minnesota..

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