Ravens running back Ray Rice was drafted a round after quarterback Joe Flacco in 2008, and both are hoping to get long-term extensions from the Ravens. Rice recently appeared on 790 The Zone in Atlanta, and while he didn’t say much about his contract situation, he gave high praise to Flacco for his performance last postseason.
Rice spoke about the attention that was paid to him in the playoffs in January, and he said that when defenses dared Flacco to beat them, Flacco did just that, including in the loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game. It is Rice’s belief that Flacco outplayed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in a losing effort.
“It was his show. It was his show on offense and as much credit that I was getting and as much respect I was getting from defenses, all Joe really had to do is prove that we can drive the ball down the field and score, and he did that,” Rice told the Atlanta radio station. “Quite frankly, he outplayed Tom Brady the last game.”
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A week after he tossed two touchdown passes in a win over the Houston Texans in the AFC divisional round, Flacco completed 22 of his 36 throws for 306 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 23-20 loss to the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. Flacco would have had three touchdown passes -- and would have likely earned a spot in the Super Bowl -- if wide receiver Lee Evans had held onto that key pass in the end zone in the game’s final minute.
Brady threw two interceptions and had a 57.5 passer rating.
“He outplayed Tom Brady, and Tom Brady -- he’s the trademark for a quarterback,” Rice said. “So Joe Flacco feeling the way he feels [about being one of the NFL's best] is only right, because he did it on a high level. He did it on the peak of his performance.”
The closer we get to training camp, the less likely it seems that Flacco, who has one year left on his rookie contract, will get his extension now. The clocking is also ticking on Rice, who hasn't signed his franchise tender, but he says he isn’t sweating it.
“I have the best agent [Todd France] in football, so I let him take care of all the other stuff and my job is to always be ready,” Rice told 790 The Zone, according to SportsRadioInterviews.com. “And the good thing about my situation is that I’m not going into a new offensive system. I’m going into a system that I’ve been in going into my fifth year, so as far as the football stuff, it’s gonna be just catching up to speed and polishing the fundamentals.”