A Ray Rice question-and-answer session with the media actually came and went last week without Rice being asked a single question about Bernard Pierce and how he expects Pierce to impact his workload at running back this season.
Somewhat of a rarity at this point.
Pierce's role in the offense has been a popular topic since the latter part of last season.
Rice is a three-time Pro Bowler and arguably the top all-purpose running back in the NFL. But Pierce showed glimpses of immense potential as a rookie last season and is now bigger, more explosive and, as described by Ravens coach John Harbaugh, further along as a player.
But, as both he and Harbaugh have consistently done during the past several months, Baltimore offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell emphasized Saturday that Rice remains the unquestioned primary ball carrier for the Ravens' offense.
"Ray is the bell cow," Caldwell said. "He's been playing well for a number of years, and we expect him to continue to do so. So, we have an opportunity with Bernard to give [Ray] a break from time to time, and we'll do just that. We'll give him breaks from time to time like we did last year."
But that's not to say Pierce won't play a significant role in Baltimore's offense.
Pierce had only 23 carries in the Ravens' first seven games, but he had 124 carries in the Ravens' last 13 games (including the playoffs), an average of nearly 10 carries per game.
Pierce averaged 4.9 yards per carry during the regular season, tied for the fifth-best average among running backs with at least 85 carries, and he averaged 5.2 yards per carry in the playoffs.
Rice is shifty. He's dynamic. He's a multi-dimensional threat who is also a proven weapon as a receiver out of the backfield.
But Pierce provides a different skill set. He's bigger (now up to 228 pounds), more powerful, fairly explosive - especially for a player his size - and he's been referred to by Baltimore running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery as "a poor man's Adrian Peterson."
"He's got power and strength and speed, and he seems like he's getting faster every day," Caldwell said.
And while Rice remains the Ravens' main ball carrier, the Ravens were happy with Pierce as a rookie and have made it clear that they want to keep him involved in the offense.
Said Caldwell: "I think there are certainly enough carries to go around for both guys."