www.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/ravens-insider/bal-ray-rice-takes-high-road-after-donovan-mcnabb-criticism-20130726,0,6825279.story

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Ray Rice takes high road after Donovan McNabb criticism

Former NFL quarterback criticized Ravens Pro Bowl runner for pair of playoff fumbles

By Aaron Wilson

The Baltimore Sun

7:00 AM EDT, July 26, 2013

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It wasn't long ago that Ravens Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice came under fire from retired quarterback Donovan McNabb.

In his role as an NFL Network analyst, McNabb criticized Rice this summer for fumbling. Rice fumbled twice in an AFC wild-card victory over the Indianapolis Colts and lost a fumble in the second half of the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII win over the San Francisco 49ers.

“Ray Rice we know is a Pro Bowler that can make big plays for you, but he has a tendency of fumbling the ball entirely too much,” McNabb said. “So, expect for Bernard Pierce to really step up and be that guy.”

However, Rice fumbled only once during the regular season last year. He has seven fumbles in five seasons, losing six. His career-high for fumbles was in 2011 when he fumbled three times, losing two, while also rushing for a career-high 1,364 yards and catching 76 passes for 704 yards and three touchdowns.

Ball security for Rice coincides with his production of 1,216 carries for 5,520 yards and 33 touchdowns as well as 311 catches for 2,713 yards and six touchdowns.

Rice took the high road when asked about McNabb's comments, declining to get into a war of words with the former Philadelphia Eagles star who fumbled 95 times and lost 46 in 13 NFL seasons.

"That's his opinion," Rice said. "I'll be honest, I always respected him, and one thing I don't do is retaliate back. The only thing I can do is get better for next season, and, obviously, if you look at the stats, numbers, whatever it was, that's his opinion. But to the world's opinion, I'm still who I am, still made the Pro Bowl last year and still won a Super Bowl. But that's the past. Obviously, he's well-respected amongst the league and I have nothing bad to say against the guy.

"But it's one of those things where every year, every year there's something. If all was good to say about me, then I have nothing to prove. But if you're saying something that obviously you feel like there's a problem, it's my job to prove myself right, not the next person. But that's what always fuels me, year in and year out, because somebody finds something against my game and says something about it, and I just try to prove myself right, not the next person. So, I just keep working and keep working, and that's what's kept me at this high level."

awilson@baltsun.com
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