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Could Bernard Pierce supplant Ray Rice?

Pierce AP

The Ravens stubbornly have supported running back Ray Rice through his domestic violence incident, and for good reason. After signing him to a contract that paid out $25 million over the first two years of the five-year deal, the Ravens weren’t going to cut Rice as he approached the cheaper seasons of the front-loaded contract.

Also, Rice continues to be the team’s best option at tailback. Teams don’t make examples out of key players; they save that for guys who were going to be cut anyway or who are replaced much more easily.

But with Rice suspended for the first two games of the season and, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, Bernard Piece looking to be the best running back in camp, that could all change.  Per Hensley, Pierce has made the smoothest transition to new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s one-cut running scheme fueled by zone blocking.

Pierce has been a solid contributor over the last two seasons, but hardly a star.  As a rookie in 2012, Pierce gained 532 yards rushing.  In 2013, he gained only 436 — averaging a mere 2.9 yards per carry.

Then again, Rice didn’t do much better in 2013, gaining 660 yards and averaging only 3.1 per carry.  With Pierce due to make $570,000 and $660,000 over the next two seasons and Rice slated to pocket $4 million and $3 million, respectively, the Ravens may at some point decide that Pierce provides the better dollar-for-dollar option.

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21 Responses to “Could Bernard Pierce supplant Ray Rice?”
  1. joeflaccoallday says: Aug 7, 2014 4:14 PM

    Stop it.

  2. seabass2712 says: Aug 7, 2014 4:19 PM

    Is this a question? Ray Rice could easily be surpassed. Pierce is a much better option.

  3. doe22us says: Aug 7, 2014 4:20 PM

    lol, injury prone cant handle a full workload, both look like trash anyway. Well Ray more so.

  4. doctorrustbelt says: Aug 7, 2014 4:22 PM

    With their weak, fragile offensive line (30th in the NFL ranked RUSH Offense in 2013)… the baltimore ravens running backs aren’t going very far.

    SEE: batterer ray rice – 3.1 yards per attempt
    SEE: bernard pierce – 2.9 yards per attempt

  5. slugbaitspace says: Aug 7, 2014 4:29 PM

    “Teams don’t make examples out of key players; they save that for guys who were going to be cut anyway or who are replaced much more easily.”

    I wonder if DeSean Jackson knows this…

  6. skum01 says: Aug 7, 2014 4:32 PM

    Except that this year it would cost the Ravens $5.5 million to cut Ray Rice. Even next year it would cost them an additional $1.75 to send him home.

    Much better to pay him now and credit next year’s cap with the savings.

  7. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 7, 2014 4:38 PM

    Just another overpaid Ozzie blunder.

  8. citizenstrange says: Aug 7, 2014 4:41 PM

    Maybe not Pierce but the Ravens did put in a call to Greg Oden to play tight end.

  9. GenoAtkinswillnotbestopped says: Aug 7, 2014 4:42 PM

    doesn’t matter… neither one can escape Burfict’s wrath.

  10. afcdomination says: Aug 7, 2014 4:45 PM

    when larry Johnson fell off in KC, he went to 2.7 YPC, which became his nickname “2.7”. anyway, that same year, Charles goes in there and doubled that average to 5.4 once he left.

    sometimes, its not just the OL, its the lousy HB(looking at you trent Richardson), or just a really good one who fell off(Ray rice)

  11. doctorrustbelt says: Aug 7, 2014 4:48 PM

    The wizard of 000’s.

    $120,000,000.

    ENJOY.

  12. jamaltimore says: Aug 7, 2014 4:54 PM

    Pierce is decent but can’t stay healthy. Flacco and Rice took the offense to 5 straight playoff runs, 3AFC championship games and 1 Superbowl win.

    Show some respect for this tandem and sit back and watch as Joe blows up and little Ray gets back to himself.

  13. robert831 says: Aug 7, 2014 5:13 PM

    They should have cut Rice the day the video came out! Rice won’t get to 600 yards this year.

  14. dowhatifeellike says: Aug 7, 2014 5:23 PM

    Pierce has looked pretty good at times but he can’t stay on the field even with a limited workload. Can’t make a guy like that your #1.

  15. milkmandanimal says: Aug 7, 2014 5:24 PM

    Bernard Pierce’s wife better hope not.

  16. Steeler Nation is so far above you and your lowly franchise. We built this league. Pittsburgh's three rivers are made from the tears of our opponents. Bow to your supreme overlords. says: Aug 7, 2014 5:38 PM

    Notice how the Steelers have the best back in the league? Yeah, we noticed that too.

  17. pittsburghdamned says: Aug 7, 2014 5:44 PM

    Take him on an elevator ride, Bernard.

  18. deathonwings410 says: Aug 7, 2014 6:12 PM

    Quiet as its been kept, Pierce is a better one cut runner than Rice. He’s built more like Arian Foster.

  19. giantseahawk says: Aug 7, 2014 10:14 PM

    I Love all the Ozzie hate. The Ravens won the Super Bowl five minutes ago. Doesn’t he get credit for that?

  20. scoobies05 says: Aug 7, 2014 11:49 PM

    hey doc…Joe got 120 mil for winning a super bowl. exactly why did Andy get his money? for Not winning playoff games. what a joke franchise. and when did the Steelers get Adrian Peterson? bell is good…but come on now

  21. itsfootballbaby says: Aug 8, 2014 10:05 AM

    It’s a good question Mr. Florio asks. Pearce’s ability to stay healthy will tell the tale.

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