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Ravens Fumbles; A Cause For Concern?

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 16:  Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Lucas Oli Stadium on January 16, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Laurie RillCorrespondent IAugust 27, 2010

Ray Rice is arguably one of the most mature runners in the league, at only his third year in the league he is being compared to Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones- Drew.
 
But Since late last December, his fumbles are causing some Ravens fans and Fantasy owners concern, I'm here to explain why no concern is needed. 
 
Yes,Rice has had 5 fumbles in 9 games, and the Ravens have lost the ball on all 3 of his last fumbles, but, Rice had a breakout season in 2009. He had 12 games with 100 plus yards total He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and had a whopping 78 receptions. Rice finished with more than 2,000 total yards, showing he might be the most complete back in the game right now.  
 
He takes what a defense gives him, but also has the blend of balance and burst to turn a small opportunity into a bigger play. Excellent hands and versatile. He shares the "make a play" mentality that Adrian Peterson and Jones-Drew both have. A workhorse who tends to wear out defenses in the second half.  
 
True he does lack some of that top-end speed of other top runners in the league, but he can stand toe to toe with the top backs on the field today. 
 
Here's some interesting stats I have to note, 
 
In his first 2 years playing Rice has had 4 fumbles in 472 touches (receptions and carries) for rate of 1 fumble every 118 touches. Leron McClain his first 2 years had 5 fumbles in 268 touches for rate of 1 fumble every 53 touches. McGahee had 5 fumbles in 659 touches for a rate of 1 fumble every 132 touches . 
 
A guy like Chris Johnson had 4 fumbles in 702 touches (1 fumble every 175 touches) while Adrian Peterson had 13 fumbles in 641 carries (1 fumble every 49 touches). 
 
As you can see, Ray isn't perfect but hes not really unusually bad in his fumbles. 
 
But Ray isn't the only cause for concern. 
 
Besides Rice and Flacco, backup quarterback Marc Bulger has fumbled twice to lead the team with wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth, quarterback Troy Smith and running backs Jalen Parmele and Curtis Steele all fumbling once apiece. 
 
Rice knows he has to work on not fumbling the football, “I’m paying attention to it because obviously I’m the one with the ball,” Rice said. “I’m going to pay more attention to it and just be more careful. I’m always trying to make a play. That comes with always trying to make a play when you get the ball in your hands. I’ve never really been a guy to fumble, and I definitely don’t want to continue to have that name."- We don't either. 
 
Cam Cameron (The Teams offensive coordinator) believes the Ravens need a greater sense of urgency when it comes to not fumbling. 
 
“You’re carrying this entire state, all the Ravens fans, the entire organization when you carry that ball,” Cameron said. “That’s who you’re carrying with you. I think we’ve got the technique squared away, but I think now we’ve just got to develop a mindset that under no circumstances, regardless of the hit, are we going to turn the ball over.” 
 
Couldn't have said it better myself, Cam. 

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