Implementing a high-energy, no-huddle offense won't reduce the traditionally heavy involvement of Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, according to Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
Although the Ravens have limited Rice's workload during the preseason to 10 carries for 46 yards, with a long run of 28 yards, and three receptions for 24 yards, that isn't a precursor to how he'll be utilized during the regular season.
The Ravens didn't want to risk injury to their most dynamic offensive player. Plus, they've used the preseason games to build tempo and timing in the passing game with quarterback Joe Flacco.
And it's not as if Rice has anything to prove during preseason games after leading the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage last season. He rushed for a career-high 1,364 yards and a dozen touchdowns, catching 76 passes for 704 yards and three touchdowns.
"No, absolutely not," Cameron said when asked if the no-huddle strategy will cut down on how often Rice will get his hands on the football. "That has nothing to do with touches for Ray. Ray, we know, is one of our best players. Touches for Ray, they may come up on different sides of the stat sheet, but the bottom line is he is always a huge part of what we are doing.
"We are always looking to see how people are defending him to see how we can continue to get him the ball in space. But also, how does that open up everyone else? It’s just what we are, what we do, and Ray Rice is a huge part of that."
Rice signed a $40 million maximum value contract in July that included a $15 million signing bonus, the highest bonus for a running back in NFL history.
And Rice has been durable, starting every game last season.
"I have been blessed," Rice said upon reporting to training camp last month. "I haven't really been banged up. I don't really takethe hits that people think I really take. It might be a pounding, it might be a load on the carries, but as far as taking crunching hits, I think I do a pretty good job of avoiding them."