Baltimore Ravens Rumors: Donovan McNabb Rips Ray Rice Fumble Issues, Bernard Pierce Prepped for Break Out Season Says Former Quarterback

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Jul 11, 2013 10:02 AM EDT
Ray Rice
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (R) runs against the Denver Broncos in their NFL AFC Divisional playoff football game in Denver, Colorado January 12, 2013."

As the media continues to give Donovan McNabb a chance to voice his opinion, the former quarterback will continue to rip on current players. So far this offseason, McNabb has taken a stab at Tony Romo's contract extension, Robert Griffin III's playing style and most recently Matthew Stafford's contract extension. But, McNabb is not stopping there. Next on the list, Ray Rice and his ball security issues.

Rice did have issues with ball security at times. The Baltimore Ravens running back fumbled twice in the wild-card win over the Indianapolis Colts. He fumbled once during the Super Bowl. Those were all certainly forgotten when the Ravens eventually became Super Bowl champs, but they are still fresh in McNabb's mind.

"Ray Rice we know is a Pro Bowler that can make big plays for you, but he has a tendency of fumbling the ball entirely too much. So expect for Bernard Pierce to really step up and be that guy," McNabb said.

The NFL Network analyst picked Rice as a player that will take a step back in 2013. Rice averages one fumble for every 218 regular-season carries. That is a pretty secure number. McNabb takes not of that, but says that players paid for the regular season, but their legacies are built in the playoffs. Rice has fumbled six times in playoff games.

After a few uncharacteristic games, Rice declared that he was not a fumbler and did not have an issue with ball security.

"I'll take both of those fumbles on the chin. I don't know if I want to say it-but I saved my worst game for today. That'll be the last time I address me fumbling. It won't happen again," Rice said.

 As a precaution, the Ravens have fellow running back Bernard Pierce to help out when things get rough. After a strong postseason rushing for 202 yards on 39 carries, Pierce could see more playing time in 2013, depending on Rice's performance. Pierce is a powerful downhill runner that can add a different dynamic to the Raven's offense.

The Ravens have asked Rice to step up his pass-catching abilities in the offseason. He caught just eight passes in the playoffs after having 61 receptions in the regular-season. Both he and Pierce are expected to escalate that side of the offense.

Rice's overall resume speaks volumes for the running back. Did he have a few fumble issues last season? Yes, but not enough to warrant the criticism from McNabb.

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