Pierce bulks up, even if his role may not

Reuters

His role might not necessarily be bigger this year, but Bernard Pierce is.

But the added 10 pounds of bulk haven’t slowed the Ravens running back down, as he said he was leaner than he was last season.

I’m not slow,” Pierce said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I can definitely run.”

Pierce was impressive as a complementary back to Ray Rice last year, gaining 532 yards and averaging nearly 5.0 yards per carry. But he’s hoping by working on his speed, he can finish better, as he had just one touchdown last season.

Having Rice running for 1,143 yards and nine touchdowns allowed Pierce to ease into the role, and Rice said he’s fine with having help.

“I’m comfortable spelling myself at any time,” Rice said. “I’ve been healthy and blessed, and I know I can still play at a high level. Last year was a very long year, and us being able to take the blows off of each other and being able to spell each other without having to worry about having to miss a beat, was really, really key for us. There is only one ball to go around, but at the same time, you were seeing what we were able to do with the run game.”

The Ravens aren’t going to take away from Rice’s role, but having a bigger back in Pierce gives them the opportunity to mix and match them, which could help them in the long run.