OWINGS MILLS — Running back Ray Rice is an emotional player.
So while it was surprising for him not to speak to the media following Sunday’s 22-17 loss to Seattle, Rice did so in order not to say the wrong thing. At least that’s what he says.
“As a professional you have to gather your thoughts up,” Rice said. “You have to look at a situation before expressing something bottled up with emotional thoughts.”
Rice finished Sunday’s game with five carries for 27 yards and eight receptions for 54 yards. He did throw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ed Dickson on a halfback pass.
But the lack of carries left a lot of people wondering why Rice wasn’t more involved as the game carried on. Rice was among those wondering why.
“I always expect to come out of a game with 20-25 touches, running or passing,” Rice said. “When you find yourself in that situation and find out where the numbers correlated, it doesn’t add up. The numbers were down that game but it was situational football.”
In the heat of the moment, Rice felt frustrated he wasn’t getting the ball more. Rice seems to have conceded the point the coaches made, that the Ravens got down too fast and didn’t see an opportunity to run the ball.
Seattle presented defensive fronts that were designed to take the run away. Right guard Marshal Yanda said the Ravens didn’t have a chance to run the ball once they got behind.
“You look at the stats and it’s easy to say we should’ve run the ball more,” Yanda said. “But being in that game and in that situation it seemed we needed to pass the ball to make up the points.”
Yanda also said the Ravens weren’t able to establish a rhythm running the ball early based on the flow of the game. They were limited with offensive possessions in the first half due to two David Reed fumbles on kickoff returns.
“If we get in there and we’re rolling and things are going well, then yeah you can get that rhythm going,” Yanda said. “But if we haven’t gotten that rhythm then no, you’re probably not (going to have success running the ball). We probably need to check out of the play into something different.”
Rice understands that point of view, it seems. But at the same time, Rice, as do some of his teammates, believes he needs to get the ball more for the offense to be effective.
“I’m not going to be a guy that talks about touches,” Rice said. “But going into a game, five carries is not going to cut it. You look at it, I know five carries is not going to do us any justice. But at the same time, we found ourselves so deep in the situation that we had to climb our way out. We were looking for answers.”
Flacco: ‘Did you watch the game?’
While Cincinnati’s up next, the topic of the day stayed on what happened Sunday against Seattle.
Quarterback Joe Flacco was asked if he was OK with how the pass/run ratio turned out (52 passes, 12 runs).
“What do you think’s going to happen when there’s five minutes left in the third quarter and you’re down 22-7?” Flacco said. “It happened in the Arizona Cardinals game too and we won. Nobody was complaining then.”
He’s got a point. Against Arizona, Flacco was considered a hero in the second half because they got a win. In the loss to Seattle, Flacco’s critics came back out, pointing fingers at the embattled quarterback.
Flacco defended offensive coordinator Cam Cameron’s decision to throw the ball as many times as they did, saying it gave the Ravens the best chance to win.
“Did you watch the game or didn’t you watch the game?” Flacco said. “I understand the way our running backs feel. If we were throwing the ball 10 times I’d be a little upset I didn’t get to put my stamp on the game either.”
Did not participate in practice Wednesday: LB Ray Lewis (foot), DT Arthur Jones (concussion), RB Anthony Allen (thigh).
Limited in practice: WR Lee Evans (ankle), LB Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring, groin).
By Jason Butt