Baltimore always has been known for its defense. As Michael Lombardi points out, that's about to change. **More ...**
The Baltimore Ravens running back told the Baltimore Sun he enjoys the new role in an offense with quarterback Joe Flacco as the centerpiece.
"My role is actually making other guys better," Rice said. "When teams come in and they forget about me, I have the capability of lighting them up. What we're doing right now, other guys -- not that they've never stepped up -- they're just making the plays that they've always been capable of making. When you have me in the game, they have to respect it. ... What you're seeing now is Joe is taking advantage of that.
"You evolve with the change. We still have our run game. I don't want anyone to think that because we passed the ball a lot last week that we forgot how to run the ball. We didn't. When we ran, we were effective. It just so happened that Joe had that defense dialed up and we executed."
Rice had 10 carries for 68 yards and 2 touchdowns to go along with 3 receptions for 25 yards in a 44-13 win against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens are running more no-huddle as Flacco continues to mature as a player.
It'd be silly for Rice to complain about the new role. He got paid -- five years, $35 million -- in July. The Ravens are 1-0. He's still getting his fantasy numbers and saving the body some wear and tear in the process.
We'll see if Rice changes his mind should the Ravens stumble to 1-4 and Flacco starts cursing and bumping his linemen during games...