Rice-Pierce: Perfect 1-2 punch

Rice-Pierce: Perfect 1-2 punch
November 8, 2012, 6:00 pm
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Still lost for words, Bernard Pierce isn't sure how to explain his first NFL touchdown.

The rookie running back put the Ravens ahead 14-0 in the first quarter of their eventual 25-15 victory at the Cleveland Browns last week.

Pierce went 12 yards around the edge.

"It was a crazy feeling. I really didn't know what to do," said Pierce, who had seven carries for 26 yards. "I was thinking about a celebration, but as soon as I crossed the end zone my whole mind went blank."

Since going into the bye week, coach John Harbaugh has been intent on better using the run game with Ray Rice and Pierce.

In the Ravens' 43-13 loss on Oct. 21, the week before the bye, Pierce didn't get a single carry or target in the passing game.

"It felt good to get my young guy in there, Bernard Pierce, to switch it up," said Rice, who had a season-high 25 carries for 98 yards against Cleveland. "That one-two punch was really working. I knew all along that this season, I wasn't going to be able to take the whole load."

Harbaugh is looking ahead when it comes to the running game. He wants to preserve Rice.

“I think the world of Bernard. … It changes the pace a little bit and it gives Ray a chance to breathe," Harbaugh said. "It’s going to make Ray better in the fourth quarter of the game or in the fourth quarter of the season. That’s something that is going to be really valuable for us going forward.”

Rice recognizes that weather conditions can play into how much the running game will be used.

"Later in the year as it gets cold, you know you have to rn the ball a little bit more and be effective," he said. "We are going to get better as a run group."

The Ravens host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. They allowed Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to rush for 251 yards and four touchdowns last week.  

Pierce's mother will be in attendance, and he'll have a surprise for her. And he could have more gifts.

"I'm going to give it to my mom," Pierce said of ball he kept after his first TD. "She's coming here Sunday for the game. I'm going to give it to her."