A day after Terrell Suggs questioned why running back Ray Rice got only eight carries in a 12-7 Monday night loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ravens coach John Harbaugh essentially agreed with his outspoken linebacker.
"He's got to get more than eight carries," Harbaugh said. "I also think when you're a play caller, you're searching for things to get you going, to get you jump-started. It wasn't like those eight carries were gashing them or anything like that either. I think we looking for some things that we can do, searching a little bit for a way to get a first down. It wasn't so much about, 'Hey, you know what? Let's get so many carries to Ray Rice or so many throws to any particular receiver.'
"We were just trying to find a way to beat the defense and get a first down and get going. Because when you do that, that's when those carries start adding up. You go three-and-out, three-and-out, three-and-out, it's going to be hard to get those carries stacked up too much. You go first-down run and you get a yard, now you've got to find a way to get nine yards on the next two. By the same token, eight carries is never going to be a winning formula for Ray Rice, there's no doubt about it."
Rice rushed eight times for 28 yards and a fumble, and caught five balls for 35 yards. The Jaguars running back, Maurice Jones-Drew, got 30 carries for 105 yards and caught two balls for minus one yards. That prompted Suggs to say:
"It baffles me that Ray Rice only had [eight] carries," Suggs said. "This is a Pro Bowl running back you're talking about. They fed their horse. We have to feed our horse."
Asked him if he was unhappy with the game plan, Suggs said: "I don't really know what the game plan was. When I have a Pro Bowl running back, and he's not getting his touches, I'm going to feel some kind of way about it. He wants the ball. And I think we should feed him. Ray Rice is a phenomenal player. You have to use your phenomenal players. I have to question how many touches Anquan [Boldin] had. We've got guys on this team that can do some great things. We have to use those guys. It's that simple."
Harbaugh said that he had no problem with Suggs' comment: "I just look at the player. I’ve got a lot of respect for Terrell Suggs. Terrell Suggs’ heart is always in the right place. He’s a leader on the football team. Obviously, all of our guys definitely listen to Terrell Suggs, especially the way he’s playing and the things that he says are right. But that’s what we’re trying to do. It’s not like we’re not trying to do the things that he’s saying. We’re on the same page with that."