Continuing the positional outlook with another member of the backfield, this time we will look at the running back. This past season the Ravens had a down year from their starting running back Ray Rice. Rice had his worst statistical season in his six year career thus far. His 660 yards rushing is his lowest since his rookie season when he posted 454 yards rushing. He also had his lowest touchdown output since that rookie year coincidentally.
Rice’s receptions, yards and touchdowns have been on the decline to past couple of seasons. Is this due to the fact that Rice is breaking down? It is hard to justify a statement that a 27 year old running back is already breaking down. It is tough for a player or an entire team to have any consistency when the offensive play caller changes as much as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator has over the past three years.
Cam Cameron and Jim Caldwell are out after both being in charge of the offense at one point. After being relieved of his duties halfway through the Super Bowl run, Cameron took the offensive coordinator job at Louisiana State. Caldwell took over through last year before taking the head coaching job with the Detroit Lions. In steps Gary Kubiak who was fired in Houston after a 2-14 season which he didn’t see the end of. Kubiak’s offense should spark Ray Rice once again.
On the depth chart Bernard Pierce should remain the backup to Rice. In Pierce’s second season his workload increased but much like Rice his production declined. He doubled his scoring but only to the tune of two touchdowns to the one he scored in his rookie season. The blocking scheme could have been just as much the culprit as who was calling the plays.
Bernard Scott is expected to test the free agent market and Cierre Wood should move into the third option and emergency running back. As far as any free agency or NFL Draft targets, I don’t expect general manager Ozzie Newsome to make any moves but we all know he isn’t a guy that you can count out.