Ravens running back Ray Rice isn't used to sharing carries, but the presence of Bernard Pierce made that a reality during Baltimore's run to Super Bowl XLVII.
As a rookie, Pierce gave the ground game a jolt down the stretch. The Ravens' website believes a strong training camp only will further "balance out that distribution" between Pierce and Rice in 2013. Rice said he can live with that.
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"Sharing touches aren't something that bother me because I know, when it comes down to crucial situations, I'll be in the game," Rice told "NFL AM" on Tuesday. "There's not one running back that takes it all. There's a few -- Adrian Peterson and a few other guys -- but Bernard's a great backup, and he's a great runner."
Rice acknowledged Pierce brings "a different skill set," saying, "We're totally different backs. ... Going into our game plan, it's hard to prepare for, you know, two guys that can come at you, rather than one."
Pierce carried the ball just 30 times during the first half of 2012, but that figure jumped to 78 attempts over his final eight contests, including 14 carries for 123 yards in Week 16 and another 89 yards on 22 attempts in the season finale. In the playoffs, the Ravens leaned on Pierce's slashing, tackle-shedding style for another 202 yards off 39 attempts over four games.
The trend is clear. Pierce has earned Baltimore's trust and should see plenty of work in Year 2, whether Rice is happy about it or not.