Ravens' Rice not resting while skipping team workouts

The SportsXchange

Ray Rice is making the most of a relatively solitary offseason.

Working out on his own away from Ravens headquarters due to his unresolved contract status, the unsigned franchise player has maintained his high standard of conditioning.

The diminutive former Rutgers star is still checking in at a chiseled 5-foot-8, 212 pounds.

"Training is something that I never worried about," Rice said Saturday during Ray Rice Day at Calvert Hall. "It's something that you got to want. I actually have the burning to desire to come back, not only for myself, but to come back ready to play. My training has always been part of my routine.

"Nobody ever had to beat me in the head to get up and work out. Anybody who knows about my workout regimen, I've probably been through two before noon. Training has never been my issues but obviously, the team camaraderie, the lockout and all that stuff, that's the stuff that you kind of miss with the guys. But as far as being ready, I know I'll be ready."

Rice, 25, didn't discuss his contract situation.

The Ravens have continued to hold a dialogue with Rice's agent, Todd France. Meanwhile, Rice has yet to sign his $7.742 million franchise tender and isn't planning to report to offseason workouts and practices until a new deal is negotiated.

Under NFL rules governing franchise players, the Ravens have until July 16 to negotiate a long-term contract extension with Rice. If a deal isn't worked out by that date, then Rice will play the entire season under the tag.

Rice has been training with former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook.

"He's in great shape right now," said Mac James, Rice's personal trainer. "The biggest thing with Ray is he's one of those guys that always wants to work. Sometimes, I have to scale him back. I don't want him to peak too early. He'll be in great shape and ready to go.

"He's very lean. His weight is down. He's controlled his eating this offseason. The good thing is he's not frustrated. He's staying positive. The contract will take care of itself."

Rice rushed for a career-high 1,364 yards and a dozen touchdowns last season. He set a franchise record with 15 total touchdowns and led the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage.

And Rice looks ready to do it again.

"Ray works," Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "That's one thing that he will do whether he's with us, back in Jersey or around here locally. You know that he's going to work. That's not a concern for anyone."

Rice led the Ravens with 76 receptions for 703 yards and three touchdowns and had runs of 53, 59, 67, 70 and 70 yards and averaged 4.7 yards per carry.

Intent on not being caught from behind, Rice has been studying video from last season to try to become more of a home run hitter as far as breaking long runs.

He's trying to improve his already impressive speed.

"He's definitely faster," James said. "He's doing a lot of quick burst stuff to hit the hole at top-end speed. He and I looked at a lot of game film and he mapped out, 'This is what I need to work on.'

"The good thing is, Ray is a true critic of himself. He doesn't blow smoke up his own butt. He wants breakaway speed and to be able to maintain it. We work on that. We work on pad level, everything."
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