Could a bigger running back solve Ravens' short-yardage, red-zone problems?

The Baltimore Sun

When the Ravens were routed by the New England Patriots in December, running back LeGarrette Blount pounded their defense in the red zone.

The 6-foot, 250-pound running back scored a pair of touchdowns during the Patriots' 41-7 win over the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

It was the kind of determined short-yardage effort at which the Ravens repeatedly failed throughout their season, finishing 31st in red-zone offense. During that same game, running back Ray Rice was stuffed for no gain in a fourth-and-1 situation at the Patriots' 4-yard line.

The Ravens finished 30th overall in rushing offense. And Rice (5 of 8 conversions) and backup Bernard Pierce (4 of 6) ranked 33rd and 25th, respectively, in the NFL in third-down conversions.

Could adding a big, tackle-breaking running back like Blount, a pending unrestricted free agent by the way, add a new element to the Ravens' running game?

“Yes, I think we need to diversify as much as we can what guys can do," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said during a season-ending press conference. "I’ve had a lot of conversations with [general manager] Ozzie [Newsome] and with [assistant general manager] Eric [DeCosta] and our different scouts about that, and our coaches, too. Yes, we want to have as many weapons as we can at our disposal.

"Big backs, fast backs, quick backs, route-running backs that you see around the league, we want to chase all those guys. You can’t always get everything you want, but those are things that we could use.”

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad