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Ravens RB Ray Rice - 12/19

Q: When you watch this Giants defense on film, what do you see from your perspective on what you might be able to do this weekend?
A: First off, you see a very physical bunch. Obviously, they have premier pass-rushers, they have smart linebackers and they have physical safeties. I mean, when that team puts it all together, there's a reason as to why they're Super Bowl champs. You don't just become the Super Bowl champs by surprise or by accident. That's a really good football team over there.

Q: They've had times this year where they have struggled against the run. Is there any common trend that you can see that you can pick up on that you guys might be able to take advantage of?
A: Every team is different. Obviously, you want to go into the game and establish the run, but we've got to be smart when we're attacking that team. When you play football, you can't just… I've never been part of a scheme where you just line up and say, 'We're going to run it down their throat.' You've got to be smart and precise when you run the ball, and I think that's what we'll try to do this weekend.

Q: Last week, you guys promoted (Jim) Caldwell to the offensive coordinator position. How has that transition gone in the last week?
A: The transition has been very smooth. Obviously, we didn't go out there and perform well, but with Coach Caldwell, nothing has changed for us. We're not changing our offense; we just try to simplify things. We got rid of a lot of things that we didn't need in our offense. That's one thing that's changed for us. We just really made everything simple.

Q: What have learned from some of the defensive leaders like Ray (Lewis) and Ed (Reed)? Emotional guys who kind of rally everybody?
A: One thing about those two, you're talking about two guys who have been playing for a while. What impresses me the most is how they come back each year and coming back in better shape. Obviously, their emotional leadership that those guys have on this team is priceless. When they speak, you can hear a pin drop in the room. We're all trying to get to where they're at. We're all trying to get to that hall-of-fame level. You're talking about two hall-of-fame guys. When they speak, everybody listens.

Q: Is that something that you can appreciate, even being on the other side of the ball?
A: Yeah. I mean, that's something I appreciate because my locker is right next to Ray Lewis'. I bother him every day.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about your pass-catching ability? Is it something that you take a lot of pride in and is that an area where you see the Giants might be a little vulnerable? (Saints RB) Darren Sproles had a big game against the Giants out of the backfield.
A: Yeah. It's all about getting out in space. I've been a guy who has been able to catch the ball my whole life. I'm just glad I'm able to get a chance to do it at this level. Being a pass-catcher, to me, that's the one exception out there, maybe he doesn't need to catch the ball, because of the way he's running like he's an Adrian Peterson. So, being a pass-catcher is definitely something that I love to do.

Q: Is this a big game for you? Giants-Ravens aside, just you growing up in New York and having gone to Rutgers, only half-an-hour away from where the Giants are?
A: Yeah. Anytime you have the chance to play against a New York opponent, it's a big game for me. Obviously, I live in Baltimore, it's even bigger. I have some friends over there. Me and Ahmad Bradshaw are really cool and after the game, may the best man win, I still have to go up there in the off-season and visit my Mom and get a chance to see those guys. You're a competitor and you want to win on Sundays, and that's what it's going to be all about.

Q: Do you leave games frustrated by the amount of touches you get per game?
A: No. Looking at how we played, I know I get my touches when we're executing on third down. Obviously last week, we played against a great defense. I try to make the best of my touches, but we didn't execute well. That's something that we have to do better. We have to show up on Sundays and execute at a high level. We're not naïve to anything. The other side of the ball gets paid, too. Hats off to their (Denver's) defense for the way they played us.

Q: The Giants assessed their performance against Atlanta when they came away, saying they missed 18 tackles. When you see a team that misses that many tackles in a game on film, is there anything you can do to take advantage of that?
A: I'm sure what they're saying right now is that we can't let that happen again next week. I'm sure they're going to come in here with that being the first thing that they corrected. We were embarrassed and they were embarrassed. The thing for embarrassment is how you bounce back. You want to go out there and put on a great show for the next game. Obviously, they have a lot at stake, we have a lot at stake. We're trying to clinch the AFC North, and I thnk they're in a three-way tie (for the NFC East). There's going to be playoff atmosphere football on Sunday.

Q: Is there still that urgency from you guys? Even though you guys have already clinched a spot in the playoffs?
A: Yeah. There's definitely a lot of urgency. Nobody wants to go home. We lost three in a row, that's the most I've lost since I've been a Raven. Obviously, there's got to be urgency for us to go out there and play a great game of football.

Q: When you were at Rutgers, you used to visit kids who were sick. Yesterday, Victor Cruz went up to Connecticut and visited one of the families of a child who passed away in the shooting. What does it take as an athlete to go into a situation like that?
A: Number one, it takes heart. You've got to be able to put yourself in that family's situation to understand at least what they're going through. That's what it's about. That's something that you don't just say, 'I'm going to do it.' You do it from the heart, from within and what he did was amazing. Obviously, I was affected by that more than I've ever been affected before. One thing about it is, when we play this game of football, you want to be able to please everybody and we're talking about winning and losing. The real losers on that end were the families of Newtown. They've got to wake up every day in a situation and have no answers to it. An unsolved problem that no one can even imagine that it happened and we get so caught up in our own little worlds of fantasy football and winning and losing that we sort of forget that there are people out there who are really hurting. Those people of Newtown are really hurting right now. That's not an excuse for going out there and laying an egg on the field. After the game is over, you still have to face life. We all need to realize that.


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