Jul/05/12 08:46 AM Filed in: Damien Berry
Ricky Williams left a void in the Ravens offense when he retired. As of yet, no one has stepped in to claim the role of No. 2 running back behind Ray Rice.
In the view of The Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson, neither Anthony Allen, Damien Berry nor Bernard Pierce “has separated himself from the pack yet.”
Wilson wrote that each jumped out at times during minicamp, but it’s still a wide-open competition heading into training camp.
Allen saw a tiny bit of action last season, Berry spent the year on the practice squad and Pierce was taken in the third round of this year’s draft. Both Allen and Berry worked in the off-season to produce new physiques.
Allen, though he still packs 230 pounds on his 6-foot frame, dropped a lot of fat.
“I just rearranged the weight a little bit,” Allen told Wilson. “I don’t know how much body fat I lost. I’m the same weight. I’m way leaner, though. I picked up my conditioning. I never ate beef or pork, but I’m cleaning up the things I eat. … I feel a lot better. I’m going through drills way faster. My recovery is so much faster.”
Berry has added 12 pounds of muscle from off-season workouts at The Castle. He now goes 223 pounds at 5-10.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said: “He has gotten bigger. He has gotten stronger. You can tell that he has done a ton of work. He has done a great job in our weight room. I just love his approach. He’s another guy that I think is going to shine when the pads come on because he is big, fast and physical. He likes football. It means a lot to him. I think we’ll be pleased. I think he is primed to have a great preseason, and then we’ll go from there.”
As for Pierce, Wilson makes the point that “the Ravens have the greatest investment in Pierce. And he seems the most suited for full-time duty if Rice was unavailable.”
Pierce, who has a four-year, $2.66 million contract with a signing bonus over $555,000, said he has “felt real comfortable” operating in the Ravens’ zone running scheme.
“The one thing is you can see why we drafted him,” Cameron said. “I can’t wait until the pads come on. I think that becomes the true test for any young player, but he is physical, smart and fast. … One thing that is obvious is that he is a good football player.”
Is he better than the other two competing for the No. 2 spot? It’s something to keep an eye on during camp.