TOWSON, Md. — Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice has dominated the headlines this off-season due to a slow standoff with the Ravens over a long-term contract.
Though it’s unknown when the fifth-year running back will report to the Ravens — Rice is not expected to participate in any organized team activities this spring without a new contract — he was busy hosting nearly 700 boys and girls for his football camp at Calvert Hall on Saturday. It was a welcome break from the business side of the game and a chance for him to give back to a community that’s embraced him since his rookie season in 2008.
“This is quite frankly what I love to do,” Rice said. “I love the kids, I love being active in the community.”
Rice and several teammates including Torrey Smith, Vonta Leach, Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams, Arthur Jones, LaQuan Williams, and Anthony Allen interacted with young Ravens fans in a chance to set a positive example and teach life lessons that stretch beyond football.
“I want them to have fun, but at the end of the day, I want them to all leave here knowing that they’re all winners,” Rice said. “They all got the same opportunity that I had. That same opportunity that I had was not necessarily the NFL; it was to do right in school, respect your parents, and go ahead and do something in life because not all of us are going to go pro.”
Though he and agent Todd France did not address any questions relating to contract negotiations — there is growing optimism a new deal can be struck by summer — Rice assured anyone doubting whether he’ll remain in shape that his work ethic is second to none. His 2011 campaign in which he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage supported that notion considering the circumstances leading up to the season.
“Me actually working out on my own — and no disrespect to what they have going on over there [in Owings Mills] — but, quite frankly, with the lockout last year, I realized that I was going to have to do it on my own,” Rice said. “And I came back in the best shape of my life. Training is something that I never worry about; it’s something that you have to want. I have the burning desire to come back, not only for myself but to come back ready to play.
“Nobody ever had to beat me in the head to get up and work out. Anybody who knows my workout regimen, I’m probably done two before noon. I know training has never been my issue. … As far as being ready, I know I’ll be ready.”
General manager Ozzie Newsome raised a few eyebrows when the Ravens drafted Temple running back Bernard Pierce in the third round of April’s draft, but Rice acknowledged the need for another running back following the abrupt retirement of Ricky Williams after the end of last season. Many have speculated that Pierce might eventually replace Rice in the Baltimore backfield if the sides are unable to reach a long-term agreement, forcing him to play with the franchise tag in 2012 and, potentially, 2013.
But Rice sees Pierce as an asset and not a long-term threat to his tenure with the Ravens.
“One thing I know about the NFL — I’ve always said it — is one back really can’t do it all anymore,” said Rice, who hasn’t met the rookie yet. “I love for a guy to give me a spell or give me a [breather]. I was genuine and I was serious about saying Ricky Williams was the best thing that happened to me last year. This is the healthiest I’ve been. Going into my fifth season, this is the best I’ve ever felt and you have a guy who wants to take the load off you. You don’t get too many of those guys.
“But he’s a rookie, so he’s got a ways to go. I wouldn’t mind letting him get in there and getting a little banging. We’ve got some great backs [with] Anthony Allen and Damien Berry. It’s going to be some nice competition going in there.”
With no other tailback on the roster with more than a year of NFL experience, Rice finds himself as the elder statesman after working with more experienced backs such as Willis McGahee and Williams in his first four seasons. He’s eager to serve as a mentor, but the question remains when he’ll actually be present to do so.
“One thing I build with the group is I want to build a camaraderie,” Rice said. “I tell them, ‘Listen, we’ve got a long season. Take care of your bodies right now, don’t abuse it, and let’s get ready for a long season.’”
Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear the entire Rice interview during his football camp at Calvert Hall here.
BALTIMORE MARCH 8, 2012 Ray Rice announced today that he will extend his signature event, Ray Rice Day, to Baltimore, Maryland. A huge success in his hometown of New Rochelle, New York, Ray Rice Day has become such a highly anticipated and favorite event among children, volunteers and coaches that Rice decided to add a similar event in Baltimore.
Ray Rice Day Baltimore is slated for Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Calvert Hall located in Towson, Maryland. The event is free for children ages 7-14. Pre-registration is required and will open on www.RayRice27.com in mid-April. The event includes games, instruction, interaction with other NFL Players, photos, autographs, and lunch. Each participant will receive a t-shirt and gift bag as well.
“I’m so blessed to be in a position where I can give back to the kids,” says Rice, “It means the world to me to be able to bring Ray Rice Day to Baltimore and spend a day with the kids giving instruction, encouragement, and inspiration. My hope is that they come away from the day knowing that they can be anything they want to in life.”
I can’t go to Bob Seger Friday night. It’s an incredibly long story (my family celebrates holidays a day late) that I don’t want to talk about. But in honor of the festive weekend, I’ll just go ahead and assume he’ll break out “Little Drummer Boy”…
I can’t believe this is the last time Cris Jacobs and the boys from The Bridge will be playing together. It’s almost impossible. The show is sold out. I might tear up a bit.
I don’t know if I’m an Airborne Toxic Event “fan”, but I know I’m a fan of this tune…
Kirk Franklin is a legendary gospel performer. In one of the most inexplicable moments in music history, he had a smash hit on MTV/Pop radio in 1997. You know you know the words…
I spent much of my adolescence wanting to be Fozzie Bear. If you don’t sing along to this you’re just a bad person…
Also, I’m looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with the Clark family, but I’ll admit I’m a bit confused by why it is that my mother has requested my girlfriend bring buffalo chicken dip to dinner this year. It’s just kinda weird. Whatever we consume, I know one thing. This Saturday I’ll be enjoying a “Thanksgiving Sandwich.” Wheat bread, turkey, potatoes and barbeque sauce. It sounds weird to you, but trust me on this one.
A lot of people are surprised by the Tigers’ success, but not me. I’m so effing stunned I’m still not a hundred percent certain it actually happened…
There’s no way anyone…in the world…could have ever seen a CAA Championship coming this season. This team still has more work to do though. They won’t feel incapable of beating anyone they play in the NCAA playoffs, starting with Lehigh December 3rd at Unitas Stadium.
Seriously…this is Towson we’re talking about. This can’t be real.
I will admit that I thought those a-holes in DC were done after Tony Romo hit Jason Witten from 59 yards away…
…but somehow Mike Shanahan’s team stayed in the thing long enough to have a kick to win in overtime. Graham Gano of course missed the kick and DeAngelo Hall channeled DeAngelo Hall to help the Cowboys survive.
I celebrate your misery, clowns. May you never win another game…unless for some reason you play the Steelers. Even then, I dunno.
Does anyone remember earlier this year when the Buffalo Bills were good? No? I swear I thought they were…
Stephen Ross started interviewing coaches before bothering to fire Sparano. Sparano used that to fire up his team, convincing them to win in order to piss off the ownership there that wanted to get new players and coaches. Suddenly Matt Moore and Reggie Bush are playing like real National Football League players and there’s a problem on South Beach…at least for now.
It’s very similar to what Lou Brown did back when he was managing the Cleveland Indians…
Did we ever find out if Brown won American League Manager of the Year that year? He was a hell of a skip.
(Side note. Every time the Orioles tried to hire a General Manager this offseason I assume the calls went awfully similar to that time when Charlie Donovan called Brown at Tire World to offer him the gig with the Tribe.
“How would you like to be the Birds’ GM?”
“Gee. I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? This is your chance to be a Major League Baseball General Manager!”
“Let me get back to you, will you Peter? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.”)
Do you get the feeling the Stanford quarterback is saying to himself, “Well, if no one else wants it…”?
I’d show you something from the Cardinal’s win Saturday night over rival California, but there wouldn’t be anything that would convince you Luck has locked up the award.
Instead, here’s Lee Corso dropping the “f-bomb” on ESPN’s College Gameday Saturday morning from the University of Houston. There’s no real reason to share the video, other than the fact that it includes the f-bomb.
The Bears’ QB almost singlehandedly made sure next weekend’s “Bedlam” game was uninteresting to the rest of the country by throwing (and running) all over Oklahoma Saturday night…
It’s probably too little, too late as far as the Heisman is concerned-but it is certainly a reminder that RG3 has been one of the most entertaining players in the country all season. This TD pass to Kendall Wright however is probably not one he should take credit for…
Also humorous? Erin Andrews took the worst of a Gatorade shower intended for Griffin…
AND…in the hysteria on field after the win in Waco, America fell in love with a gal rushing the field on crutches…
But if he did this more often the Detroit Lions wouldn’t have to make dramatic second half comebacks week in and week out like they did Sunday against the Carolina Panthers…
This game also involved Lions TE Tony Scheffler invoking an AT&T Flash Mob commercial in a TD dance…
And a note to Fantasy Football owners: Lions RB Kevin Smith ran for over 100 yards in this game. The physics of that alone are stunning, really.
I’m well aware it’s a different guy, but can we talk about this picture for a second? I say this as a HUGE Silent Bob fan. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Are those shorts? Is it some sort of jean skirt? Is it a denim quilt? Holy hell.
The name Dick Dale might not mean a lot to you, but if you listen to “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net (and why wouldn’t you?), you’d be familiar with the theme to “Totally Tubular.” (Someone will yell at me for not also noting that Dick Dale is one of the greatest surf guitarists of all time. I’ve handled that now.)…