Rice claims patient running game will be key against San Francisco defense

January 30, 2013 | WNST Staff

RUNNING BACK RAY RICE

 (on playing San Francisco’s defense) “One thing about the running game is that this defense just takes what’s there – maybe it’s two yards, maybe it’s three. You have to make the best of those situations. We know it’s not going to be easy at all, but it is the Super Bowl, and you have to go out there and give it your best shot at whatever you do because there is no tomorrow after the Super Bowl.”

 

(on his success this season) “I’ve been patient with my runs. I haven’t been forcing anything. I’ve always said as long as I don’t force the issue, something good will happen. We have our best five linemen out there doing a great job. In the last couple of weeks, the run game has went this way. With that being said, with all that focus on the run game, we pass the ball really well, too. It’s all about having that balance. You have to balance the offense. You’ll be able to move the ball, but the moral of the story is you have to get down there and you have to score. You can have a bunch of yards, but if you don’t have any points to show for it, you find yourself out of a football game.”

 

(on why his team is in the Super Bowl) “I’ve always known we had a great team, but now we have weapons. We play together, and that’s the best feeling about this whole situation is to know you have a great team. When you have a great team, all things are possible. I don’t have to be the center of attention, but I know I’m a playmaker on this team. When it comes, I just have to make the play. My number is going to be called fairly often, but there are other guys out there that can move the ball. That’s just one of the situations where I don’t have to worry about me going out there and doing too much. I’ll do my job, and my job will be just enough.”

 

(on his accomplishments) “Last year was the contract. This year the contract is done, I’ve played another Pro Bowl. What’s next? We’re here at the Super Bowl. You win the Super Bowl, and the only thing to chase after that is a legacy. That’s where I’m at in my career now. It went by fast. I can’t believe next year is going to be my sixth year in the NFL. It’s one of those things that goes by fast. I’m glad I didn’t let this time by. I just took advantage of the opportunities I had.”

 

(on football’s life lessons) “One thing I’ve learned about football that I apply to my daily life was in life you have to hold yourself accountable. If you hold yourself accountable, great things are coming. I hold myself on the field, but you have to hold yourself accountable off the field as well. Another thing is family and brotherhood. You take that brotherhood and family that you’ve learned about in football and take that to life. Anytime you have a close-knit group with somebody, the moral of the story is you have to work together. In life and with your family, you have to work together. You can take a lot of football lessons and apply them to life.”

 

(on favorite running backs as a kid) “As a little kid, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith; I have some Walter Payton apparel. Out of modern-day running backs, LaDainian Tomlinson, (Maurice) Jones-Drew. I’m just a big fan of the running backs because you see everybody’s differences. You can’t just say, ‘Oh, that guy’s a running back.’ Now it’s more like for me, I like to catch the ball. I don’t mind catching them. A catch for me is like a long hand-off. Once I get it, the stat book says different, but you can make a big play on a catch.”

 

(on who will be the star of the Super Bowl) “It’s hard to say who’s going to be the star of the game because I look at Super Bowls, and just think about the year the Giants won when David Tyree made the catch. The stats run huge numbers, but that catch went down as one of the most memorable plays of Super Bowl history. I just think that your star is being here. You’re in the biggest game and biggest spotlight in the world. Stats are a hidden agenda in that game. It’s all about who makes the play. If it be the guy who came off the bench, the next thing you know if he makes the wining catch, he’s going to get the most media. He’s the star.”

(on Ray Lewis) “He’s been going for 17 years. You have to be doing something great like that for people to come at you. He’s been doing something right for 17 years. He’s going to be a Hall of Famer. When you’re doing something right, there’s got to be that one thing somebody wants to talk about. He takes it in stride. He handles it. He’s taught me how to handle things as well. It’s our job to send him off right for his last game. Then, he can write another chapter on life because he’s going to do something great after football.”

 

(on Baltimore’s offense) “Just going to the game, how do you not respect our run game over the last couple weeks? We’ve been putting up tremendous numbers. You go down to the playoff stats, the Ravens are ranked pretty high. We’re up there with the best of the best statistically, offensively. It’s the best of the best right now in the playoffs. The regular season is done. In all reality, you have a whole new season right now. Right now, we’re one of the best teams in football statistically in the playoffs.”

 

(on preparing for the Super Bowl) “I’m definitely excited to get back to practice. I can’t wait. I worked out yesterday. I feel pretty good. I got some conditioning in. I’m treating it like a regular week, taking care of my body. I got a nice deep tissue massage. I’m back to the grind, old school.”

 

(on making it to the Super Bowl after coming close in past years) “I just think now when you do something that hurts so bad that you have to think about something for a whole year for it to set in. When you get close, it’s like, ‘You know what? Not this time.’ I think that was the most convincing thing about it. People say maybe against the Broncos, people call it whatever you want without the pass we’d lose the game, but we went up there and dominated New England. No one is talking about how the Ravens dominated New England. We outscored them 21-0 in the second half. That was the way to get into the championship because we didn’t want that feeling of them getting close to coming back. That was the only way to get over what happened last year. It’s not that the growing man just beat them, but the growing man dominated them at what they did best. What they do best is score points. Hats off to our defense. I know you’re talking about New England, but it was just the only way to get that feeling out of your stomach. You know how you get that itch? I got in the locker room, and I felt sick when I got there because of that feeling of thinking about how many guys were crying and thinking about our old equipment manager who was fighting a stomach virus. He was sick. It was just a sick feeling coming out of that place that day.”

 

(on being portrayed as an underdog)  “The world already portrayed us as underdogs. I don’t watch the news and all that stuff, but sometimes it comes across. You check your Twitter or something, and it says the Ravens are four or five point underdogs. I don’t know. I guess that’s for the world to decide. I’ve been the underdog my whole life. Being the underdog just feels like you have something to prove. If you always put yourself at the top, the only way you can go is down. Being the underdog, you have to climb and get to the top, and the only way you can get to the top is winning the Super Bowl.”

 

(on running backs around the league) “With the running back value said to be going down, what Adrian Peterson has done to bring it back up has been really special. It’s been really special to see what a lot of running backs have done this year. I think every running back came out with a chip on their shoulder this year because everybody was saying our value was going down. I’m satisfied where I’m at, but look at what Adrian Peterson did after knee surgery and his ACL.”

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