Pierce eager to break out

Pierce eager to break out
October 31, 2012, 2:45 pm
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Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) carries the ball as Dallas Cowboys inside linebacker Bruce Carter (54) defends in the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium.

(James Lang-US PRESSWIRE)

An overlooked piece of the Ravens' offense has been Bernard Pierce, the No. 2 running back behind Ray Rice.

Pierce is averaging better than 5.0 yards per carry, but he has only 23 rushes for the season. Going into the bye week, coach John Harbaugh admitted the run game as a whole has been abandoned to quickly by the offense and that better use of Pierce can help them get back on track.

Pierce knows there are rumblings that he'll more work in Sunday's game at the Cleveland Browns.

"No one has specifically said that to me but I've heard that was going to be the plan so I'm just game-planning how I do every week. Just preparing to get in the game any moment," he said. "Just got to be ready at all times.

"That doesn't excite me because you have to have the same mentality going into the games as anybody else. You always got to be prepared like a starter."

Harbaugh contends that Pierce, who is a powerful, bruising runner between the tackles, needs more than three carries per game to be at his best. He gets better with repetition.

"I would say so. I just need to find that rhythm. Once I find that rhythm I just keep going," Pierce said.

Getting the reps, however, is all about performance. The rookie, who the Ravens moved up in the 2012 draft to select in the third round, chuckled when asked about the biggest lesson he has learned as a pro.

"If you don't play well you're not going to get on that field," Pierce said. "Bottom line, you got to know your stuff or your can't play.

"I've learned the system, I know the plays, I know protections. It's just a matter of being not the field. … I'm just over here waiting. When I do get on the field I'm going to be productive."