I've been working on a feature story on consensus top-five fantasy pick Ray Rice over the past couple of days for my fantasy football preview in tomorrow's b (you can find it online here, of course).
I chatted with Rice about a lot of things, most of which pertained to fantasy football and his individual statistics. But when I asked him about the one thing he tried to improve on the most during the offseason, the 5-foot-8 running back said he wanted to become a better pass blocker to make sure Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is still around to chuck him those dump-off passes.
"One thing I always think I need improvement on is pass blocking," Rice said. "When guys see me in a game, their first initial move is to try to bull-rush me over, which, if I'm staying stout, and I can cut a few times to slow them up.
"But that's something where I want to protect Joe, and I don't want anybody giving my quarterback no missed protection, no missed assignments. So, I take that very personally."