One of the players expected to truly breakout next season is second year runner Bernard Pierce. Pierce had an incredible late run to end the season and then got even better in the playoffs and was a huge factor in the Ravens going to the Super Bowl. This season he is expected to take on a much bigger role, potentially doubling his 6.75 carry per game average from last season. it isnt unrealistic to expect 13-17 carries per game for him. he also averaged a ridiculous 4.9 yards per carry in the regular season and an even better 5.2 yards per carry in the playoffs. Those numbers dont seem huge on the surface, but considering he was brought in to be more of a pounder and wear teams down, 5 yards per carry is really good.
in preparation for his expanded role, Pierce has added 10 lbs of muscle to his frame and is now up to 228 lbs. That is a lot of muscle. A whole lot. It is pretty rare to hear about a running back adding weight rather than losing weight, but the Baltimore Sun has reported that Pierce looks just as fast and explosive as he did last year despite the extra weight.
The Ravens have a bit of mixed history of success with added weight in their past. Terrell Suggs had arguably his worst season(though it was his best run defense season) when he added 15 lbs after the 2009 season. Conversly Haloti Ngata added 12 lbs in 2010 and has played some of his best football in the years following that decision(despite an increase in injuries).
The jury is out on Pierce until we see him in live action with the added weight, but it could be a great move or it could be a non factor, lets just hope it doesnt slow him down.