Ray Rice: Mismatch Man

May 19, 2009 |

Joe Flacco was the most important rookie on offense for the Ravens last year. He wasn’t the only rookie who contributed though. For the first thirteen games of the 2008 season, Ray Rice showed flashes of his potential on the field. He seemed to hit the “Rookie Wall” late in the season. He had only 1 carry over the final three games and during the playoffs.

His rookie numbers were respectable. He carried the ball 107 times, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He had 33 receptions for 273 yards, averaging 8.3 yards per catch. With Pro Bowler Le’Ron McClain moving back to a more traditional fullback role. The Ravens will be counting on Rice to expand his role as the #2 running back.

He has had a year to learn the offense and to get stronger. His growth and the maturation of Joe Flacco could be the keys to a deep playoff run. I can see Cam Cameron utilizing his skills both as a decoy and as a weapon. His versatility will be an asset to Cameron’s offensive wizardry.

His ability to create mismatches will be the key to his success. He can be used as the change of pace back with McClain as the fullback. He can hide in the backfield behind our tall offensive line and wait for the holes to develop. As the o-line wears people out at the end of the game, he can break long runs off for first downs and eat up the clock.

With McGahee or McClain working as the single back, he’ll line-up in the slot. Will they run or pass; who do you defend? On passing plays he provides match-up problems for defenses, whether he works out of the backfield against a linebacker or in the slot against a safety. He can be used as a wide receiver in a regular set or for trick plays.

I know Cam Cameron has a more imaginative football mind than mine. I’m sure he is dreaming of ways we can use Ray Rice to torment defenses for 15 to 20 plays a game. Either on the ground or through the air, I’m expecting big things from the Raven’s modern day version of Lenny Moore. If Ray can come close to being Moore-like, he will be a special player who will help take us to the Promised Land in Miami!

Quick hitters
Nice move by Fox to allow the World Series games start earlier. Now all of the East Coast and young kids can watch all of the games. MLB actually put the fans first for a change.

Monday Night Football: Nice addition, I’ll take Chucky over Kornheiser in the booth.

The change to the infield “party” was needed to help keep the Preakness in Baltimore. Betting brought in around $10 million more with 30,000 less people, the numbers work for me!