For Ravens rookie running back Bernard Pierce, Sunday represents a homecoming as he returns to his Philadelphia roots.
When the Ravens play the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, it's familiar territory for Pierce.
The third-round draft pick from Temple rushed for 3,570 career yards and 53 touchdowns in three seasons and grew up in nearby Ardmore, Pa.
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"I've been in that stadium before, that was our home stadium," Pierce said. "I'll think about it as a little reunion. Hopefully, I can do something."
A new father of a baby boy and engaged to be married, Pierce has accumulated a lot of tickets for family and friends for this game.
Although Pierce grew up in the heart of Eagles country, he wasn't a fan.
"I grew up a football fan, I never had a favorite team," said Pierce, an all-state selection at Glenn Mills High School who rushed for 1,578 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior while winning the 100 meters in 10.6 clocking, the fastest time in the state. "That was the local team I followed."
Installed as the primary backup to Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, Pierce rushed for 19 yards on four carries in his first NFL regular-season game as the Ravens defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 44-13, on Monday night at M&T Bank Stadium. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry.
After the game, though, Pierce was disappointed.
"I was a little sore, but that's the game," Pierce said. "No matter what your performance is, you can always do better. I felt like I can contribute a lot more and do a lot better."