Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

ziptop

When did Ray Rice become a Terrible Blocker?

24 posts in this topic

I've never heard this till this year and lately. But I've seen it myself on some total whiffs. Why would Ray Rice be a bad blocker? And why all of a sudden? What's wrong with him and what's up with this? Could it be injury related?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year or the year before Rice "attempted" a block where he basically just ducked, and Joe then immediately got plowed under. So it's not new, it's just that this year it's happening at an alarming rate. But the most logical explanation is that he's trying to avoid getting hurt. (Apparently blocking guys much bigger than you does not feel good.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year or the year before Rice "attempted" a block where he basically just ducked, and Joe then immediately got plowed under. So it's not new, it's just that this year it's happening at an alarming rate. But the most logical explanation is that he's trying to avoid getting hurt. (Apparently blocking guys much bigger than you does not feel good.)

Apparently, Harbaugh's OK with the pounding because Rice keeps coming back for more feeble blocking every Sunday.  He's fortunate Joe's an even tempered person because Peyton Manning would be all over him in the huddle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently, Harbaugh's OK with the pounding because Rice keeps coming back for more feeble blocking every Sunday.  He's fortunate Joe's an even tempered person because Peyton Manning would be all over him in the huddle. 

Another head scratcher. I guess Rice blocks great in practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another head scratcher. I guess Rice blocks great in practice.

Yeah, the whole "practice" thing really irritates me.  Here's another one of my favorites..."it's something we need to get better at..."  Will we EVER be free of that line?  I guess by week 16, it will be too late to get better, right?  I don't know why they don't just record all of his stock respones and play them every Monday at the press conference.  Why does he have to be there? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It just seems odd that a top level athlete, a star, is all of a sudden a terrible blocker. Maybe he is hurt and is trying to avoid being hurt.

 

But that brings me to one question about football in general and the Ravens in particular... are they putting the best players on the field to win the game?  I think the answer to that is an emphatic No. There is even a question of whether or not they are even trying to win the game. I think they might put the biggest celebrities on the field, but not the players that would give them the best chance to win the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I've said before...the Ravens are a poorly coached team. And certainly a part of that has to do with who's playing and who isn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the whole "practice" thing really irritates me.  Here's another one of my favorites..."it's something we need to get better at..."  Will we EVER be free of that line?  I guess by week 16, it will be too late to get better, right?  I don't know why they don't just record all of his stock respones and play them every Monday at the press conference.  Why does he have to be there? 

I'll bet John Harbaugh would be perfectly OK with that. I don't get the impression that giving thoughtful, truthful, in-depth insight to the press is a top priority for him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It just seems odd that a top level athlete, a star, is all of a sudden a terrible blocker. Maybe he is hurt and is trying to avoid being hurt.

 

But that brings me to one question about football in general and the Ravens in particular... are they putting the best players on the field to win the game?  I think the answer to that is an emphatic No. There is even a question of whether or not they are even trying to win the game. I think they might put the biggest celebrities on the field, but not the players that would give them the best chance to win the game.

 

So who is not playing that is better than someone who is playing? Also, did you really question if the Ravens actually try to win the game.... Seriously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So who is not playing that is better than someone who is playing? Also, did you really question if the Ravens actually try to win the game.... Seriously.

The point about the Ravens not really trying to win is clearly over the top, so let's just dismiss that part of his remark out of hand. (Although the question of what are Harbaugh's real priorities when it comes to his decisions regarding his coaches is not so easy to dismiss. Cameron hurt the team, it was obvious, yet it took an extreme act to fire him. Castillo destroyed this season, yet he's still here, and it took way too long to even address the mess he made of the O-line. And that's squarely on Harbaugh's shoulders. So it begs the question: Why would Harbaugh let his loyalty to his buddies take precedence over the best interest of the team? It's a legitimate question.)

 

Now let's look at some of the "who's playing and who's not". McClain is playing, and he's not doing that great a job. IMO, of course. Who else could be starting instead of him? Brown. Bynes. To name a few. Also, it was clear that Huff was crap, and fortunately, he was canned relatively early on. But he shouldn't have even been starting at all to begin the season. Next up...did you happen to see the hit Juice laid on somebody? Why isn't he seeing the field more as an H-back? He did well in college at that position. (I'm not suggesting that he replace Leach, btw. I'm suggesting that the coaching staff find a way TO GET HIM ON THE FIELD ALREADY.) And watching Dickson is just painful. If Furst, who's on the PS, isn't better than Dickson, then there's something really wrong somewhere.

 

Now...you can pick apart any of my examples. But this is the sort of thing that seems to be a weakness with the Ravens, and even the owner a while back said the Ravens need to be better at utilizing their young talent. Other teams do it with regularity. To me, it's part of the Harbaugh/Schembechler college/redshirt mindset. (i.e. rookies have to prove themselves, etc.) That's all well and good when you don't have glaring holes. But the Ravens DO have glaring holes. And their response seems to be slow/reluctant to start rookies. And speaking of that...why isn't Jensen seeing some field time? The O-line is a train wreck. So why is Jensen taking up a roster spot, but can't see the field?

 

I think there are some legitimate concerns with how the talent on this team is utilized. And I believe the above examples support my position when it comes to 2013. As I've stated in other posts, to me it boils down to a philosophy that Harbaugh has regarding practice. He looks at what players do in practice and that factors into who he chooses to start/play. The problem with that can be seen on any driving range or practice putting green. LOTS of folks kill the ball on the driving range, and sink lots of putts on the practice putting green. Because it's only PRACTICE. It's a whole different story when the pressure is on and everything is on the line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So who is not playing that is better than someone who is playing? Also, did you really question if the Ravens actually try to win the game.... Seriously.

my thoughts exactly. especially the part about "even trying"  :huh:  :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my thoughts exactly. especially the part about "even trying"  :huh:  :rolleyes:

Let's look at just one play, okay? The play was designed to be a quick pass out in the flat to Leach, with Ray Rice kept in to block. Just think about that for one second. Rice in to block for a pass out to Leach in the flat. Is that not completely backward? Why not keep LEACH in to block for a quick hitter out to RICE in the flat? Wouldn't that have made more sense? And while it's just one example, while watching the games I know I frequently scratch my head and ask: "Why did the Ravens just do that? It's seems completely backward, or at least very very wrong". And reading the boards during the game, I know I'm not the only one.

 

And what was the point bringing in Bernard Scott just to keep deactivating him every week, when the running game has been struggling to even find a heart beat? (And please don't even get me started on the Rainey decision. He was the cheap insurance policy; he knew the system; and he IS as good as some of us saw in back to back pre-seasons. And the FO had a responsibility to properly assess his talent. But they failed. And it was a costly failure. Those sorts of RBs who are already in your system and are good and cheap just don't grow on trees, and you can't just squander them away, especially after having spent too much money already on your feature running back.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can agree with most of what you say OCF, but I do want to mention that every once in awhile it is worth doing the opposite of what the opponent expects. In this case it got blown up, but if it had worked it would have shown some original thinking, which I would like to see a little more of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's look at just one play, okay? The play was designed to be a quick pass out in the flat to Leach, with Ray Rice kept in to block. Just think about that for one second. Rice in to block for a pass out to Leach in the flat. Is that not completely backward? Why not keep LEACH in to block for a quick hitter out to RICE in the flat? Wouldn't that have made more sense? And while it's just one example, while watching the games I know I frequently scratch my head and ask: "Why did the Ravens just do that? It's seems completely backward, or at least very very wrong". And reading the boards during the game, I know I'm not the only one.

 

And what was the point bringing in Bernard Scott just to keep deactivating him every week, when the running game has been struggling to even find a heart beat? (And please don't even get me started on the Rainey decision. He was the cheap insurance policy; he knew the system; and he IS as good as some of us saw in back to back pre-seasons. And the FO had a responsibility to properly assess his talent. But they failed. And it was a costly failure. Those sorts of RBs who are already in your system and are good and cheap just don't grow on trees, and you can't just squander them away, especially after having spent too much money already on your feature running back.)

mostly I was being critical of the comment about not really trying to win. breaking down individual plays (like you did) is a more reasonable conversation than, "they play their weaker players on purpose" type comments.

 

2 questions about your Rainey comment. 1) I heard he wasn't really doing to well with TB, but I don't know if that's true. 2) wasn't he released before Rice got hurt?

 

if so, then I'm not that critical of the move from that perspective. but generally, I was impressed with how he played in the pre-season. when they released him, I just figured it must have been a situation where he looked good because he was playing the 2nd or 3rd string of the opposing teams.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mostly I was being critical of the comment about not really trying to win. breaking down individual plays (like you did) is a more reasonable conversation than, "they play their weaker players on purpose" type comments.

 

2 questions about your Rainey comment. 1) I heard he wasn't really doing to well with TB, but I don't know if that's true. 2) wasn't he released before Rice got hurt?

 

if so, then I'm not that critical of the move from that perspective. but generally, I was impressed with how he played in the pre-season. when they released him, I just figured it must have been a situation where he looked good because he was playing the 2nd or 3rd string of the opposing teams.

1. He ran for 163 yards/30 carries and had 2 TDs this past Sunday. And the week before, after the Bucs used Jim Leonard for most of the game, he ran for 45 yards on 8 carries and 1 TD. (I think that's pretty good.) ;)

 

(And what's interesting is that the Bucs head coach was Ray Rices' head coach -- AND Jim Leonard's head coach -- at Rutgers. He might be a crappy NFL head coach, but I'd say he knows a thing or two about running backs.)

 

2. In the past the Ravens have kept 3 RBs -- either Anthony Allen, or someone else. This year they cut it down to 2 RBs (and 2 FBs), and with Pierce's h/o injuries, that just wasn't a very wise decision, IMO. Meanwhile, they have Juice sitting on the bench doing nothing but STs. AND Rainey is a good returner as well, so he could have easily pulled double duty in that regard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can agree with most of what you say OCF, but I do want to mention that every once in awhile it is worth doing the opposite of what the opponent expects. In this case it got blown up, but if it had worked it would have shown some original thinking, which I would like to see a little more of.

Personally, I'm tired of the dump off pass to Leach. It's been run a million times already. (OK. That's an exaggeration. But it's been run to death, IMO.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another head scratcher. I guess Rice blocks great in practice.

 

They don't block in practice; they don't tackle in practice. In the old days, you practiced the way you played a game. But now, because of the players union and the new practice rules, you can't. You can really see the difference on Sunday. Soooooooooooooo many missed tackles. And, 5' 7" Ray Rice does not belong in there blocking. He can't block a 350 lb bruiser heading his way. He just can't. If I were Flacco I'd have a very serious discussion with my coach regarding the stupidity of leaving Rice in to block.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. He ran for 163 yards/30 carries and had 2 TDs this past Sunday. And the week before, after the Bucs used Jim Leonard for most of the game, he ran for 45 yards on 8 carries and 1 TD. (I think that's pretty good.) ;)

 

(And what's interesting is that the Bucs head coach was Ray Rices' head coach -- AND Jim Leonard's head coach -- at Rutgers. He might be a crappy NFL head coach, but I'd say he knows a thing or two about running backs.)

 

2. In the past the Ravens have kept 3 RBs -- either Anthony Allen, or someone else. This year they cut it down to 2 RBs (and 2 FBs), and with Pierce's h/o injuries, that just wasn't a very wise decision, IMO. Meanwhile, they have Juice sitting on the bench doing nothing but STs. AND Rainey is a good returner as well, so he could have easily pulled double duty in that regard.

all good points

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

all good points

Thanks. And when you look at how many games the Ravens have lost by small margins, a lot of these points could have definitely added up to W's instead of L's. It's frustrating when you see how much of this season has literally been squandered away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you remember the Super Bowl last year? The Niners were on the Ravens five yard line with first and goal. The Niners quarterback had averaged 10 yards a carry and Frank Gore had averaged 6 yards a carry up till that time. And they didn't run the ball! How could you possibly say that they were trying to win?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you remember the Super Bowl last year? The Niners were on the Ravens five yard line with first and goal. The Niners quarterback had averaged 10 yards a carry and Frank Gore had averaged 6 yards a carry up till that time. And they didn't run the ball! How could you possibly say that they were trying to win?

Not sure what your point is. Just about everyone agreed that they made stupid play calling when it counted the most. It doesn't matter which team screws up; when you screw up, you screw up. And the Niners screwed up big time. Maybe it's a Harbaugh thing. A lot of Niners fans aren't particularly enthralled with Jim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that Rice is playing soft. I don't know the reason for it, but injury would explain it. Also, not having Ray Lewis around anymore to get on his case could also be part of it, but who really knows?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that Rice is playing soft. I don't know the reason for it, but injury would explain it. Also, not having Ray Lewis around anymore to get on his case could also be part of it, but who really knows?

I remember the year it looked like Jamal Lewis was playing soft (it might have been 2006, I'm not sure). Then towards the end of that season he started to turn it on. At the end of the season, it came out that he was hurt and was trying to avoid getting hit/hurt more. So your observation could very well be right on target.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember the year it looked like Jamal Lewis was playing soft (it might have been 2006, I'm not sure). Then towards the end of that season he started to turn it on. At the end of the season, it came out that he was hurt and was trying to avoid getting hit/hurt more. So your observation could very well be right on target.

 

Yeah, now that you mention it, I remember that as well. It would be nice if Rice was saving it up for the remainder of the season, but he  better start soon or it will be too late...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites