Vowing that "I made one mistake, and it won't happen again," former Ravens running back Bernard Pierce is eager to start a new chapter with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Pierce's three-year, disappointing tenure with the Ravens ended abruptly in March, as he was released less than 24 hours after being arrested on charges that included driving under the influence. But the Jaguars claimed Pierce off waivers the next day.
Pierce met with the media during the Jaguars offseason conditioning program this week and told the Florida Times-Union, "My outlook is that nobody remembers the good things you do, but they always try to scrutinize and criticize the bad things. I made one mistake in my whole career, my whole life, and now I’m trying to build myself up.”
Pierce told the Jacksonville media that he has never been much of a drinker and that the incident in the wee hours after St. Patrick's Day came down to "bad timing, I guess. Me and a couple of guys went out."
Pierce reiterated that he wasn't surprised that the Ravens cut him. On the night of his arrest, according to court documents, Pierce told an officer, "Do you know what happened the last time a Ravens player got a DUI? I'm getting cut tomorrow, not like you care."
Pierce told the Jaguars media that, "With as many offseason issues as they have and with the zero-tolerance policy, I knew that could be it for me. But I didn’t think there would be a phone call and that would be it.”
The Ravens have said there is not a zero-tolerance policy, per se, but the simple truth is Pierce had become expendable with the emergence of Justin Forsett and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro, coupled with Pierce's subpar season. Given the chance to become a starter after the Ray Rice fiasco, Pierce was benched after a fumble in Week 1 against Cincinnati.
Although he responded with a 96-yard effort in Week 2 against Pittsburgh, Pierce never again came close to matching that production. He did not have more than 50 yards in a game the rest of the season, and even appeared to fall behind undrafted rookie Fitzgerald Toussaint on the depth chart by season's end. It was a rapid tumble for a running back who was chosen in the third round in the 2012 draft.
Pierce finished the year with 93 carries for 366 yards, both career lows.
In Jacksonville, Pierce joins a team that ranked 21st in the league in rushing. Denard Robinson (582 yards) was the leading rusher last season.
“I don’t come in expecting anything,” Pierce said. “My standpoint is to come in and try to get a job, try to compete.”