Rice wants increased role in passing game

May, 13, 2013
5/13/13
2:08
PM ET
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice told The Baltimore Sun that he wants to become an even bigger receiving threat this year. This is the same Ray Rice who has 17 more receptions than any other running back in the NFL since 2008.

So, why would Rice say something like this? While I didn't find any quotes from Rice explaining why he wants more catches, I broke down his numbers from last season and spotted a trend.

In 13 games with Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator, Rice caught over four passes in a game six times. He averaged 32.6 yards receiving.

In seven games with Jim Caldwell calling the plays, Rice caught over four passes in a game just once. He averaged 20.2 yards receiving.

Perhaps Rice wants an increased role in the passing game in Caldwell's offense. He finished last season with 61 catches and 478 yards receiving, both of which were lows for Rice since he took over as the featured back in 2009.

At 5 feet 8, 212 pounds, Rice knows the best way to extend his career is to have more touches in the open field instead of between the tackles. And you only need to flash back to him converting fourth down-and-29 in San Diego to realize how dangerous he is as a receiver.

Plus, the Ravens have second-year back Bernard Pierce to handle the workload in the running game.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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