Despite fumbles, Ray Rice says his confidence isn't shaken

The Baltimore Sun

Ravens running back Ray Rice insists he doesn't have a fumbling problem, or a confidence issue regarding ball security.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection has lost two fumbles this season, though, with the latest coming during a 26-23 win over the Miami Dolphins when 6 foot 4, 355-pound defensive lineman Paul Soliai shook the football loose and former Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe pounced on the football.

Over his past eight games, including the postseason last year when he lost three fumbles, Rice has lost five fumbles.

"My confidence is not shaken," Rice said. "When I looked back at it, that guy is a big, strong guy. He just made a good play. It's not like they're just gripping it from me and taking it from me. That guy wrapped me up, bear-hugged me, and I actually thought he was going to get cut-blocked, and I was looking to make a move right there. When he got ahold of me, I didn't have a chance to put the second hand on the ball.

"You've just got to be aware of the situation. Those guys get paid as well, but it's something obviously I'll pay attention to. When you're out there, those guys, you've got to be aware of the situation making the cut. I just have to give hats off to that guy who made the play. He definitely got a great bear hug on me, and I'm able to get that second hand on it while he's wrapping me up, I think that doesn't happen."

In his sixth NFL season, Rice has nine career fumbles during the regular season with eight lost.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh didn't exactly sound worried about Rice's fumbling, but acknowledged it's something the team is keeping an eye on.

"It's always the main concern," Harbaugh said. "That's always going to be the No. 1 priority on offense is to protect the football. We use the term, 'aggressive ball security.' We want to run the ball north and south. We want the ball high and tight. Sure, it's a big priority."

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