Fresh off the contract signing of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, the team needs to determine who will back him up. While Rice, a two-time Pro Bowler will get the majority of the carries, the Ravens need someone who can pound the ball in short-yardage situations.
Last season we saw the duo of Rice and veteran running back Ricky Williams. They worked well together, but Williams retired this year and now the Ravens must fill his roster spot when training camp starts next week.
Here’s a look at the players vying to fill the vacant position.
Anthony Allen is a second year player with Ravens. In 2011, he was a seventh-round pick from Georgia Tech. He did not see much playing time; he only had three carries for 8 yards and was inactive for the last 13 games. Small as it may be, he is the only one with any NFL experience.
2012 third-round draft pick, Bernard Pierce from Temple, is next in line. At Temple, Pierce finished second in school history with 3,570 rushing yards. During his freshman season he had 27 touchdowns and 1,481 rushing yards. He is light on his feet and could provide the burst of speed needed in short-yardage situations.
Allen is the likely leader of the competition, but it is anyone’s guess how this will play out during training camp.
This week former Cincinnati Bengals running back, Cedric Benson, said he wants to get back in the game. Benson, who had three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons, could be a valuable backup running back.
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal believes that Benson would fit best with the Ravens.
According to Rosenthal:
Benson could fill the old Ricky Williams role if the Ravens realize youngsters Bernard Pierce and Anthony Allen aren’t up for the task of backing up Ray Rice.
While Benson could be an asset to any team, I don’t see him fitting in with the Ravens especially since he played for a division rival.
I have faith in the team’s ability to select the best player for the job. If no one is capable of filling the backup role they will most likely look elsewhere for a veteran backup.