Bernard Piercereturned to the practice field on Saturday, and not a moment too soon if hewants to seize the job as the Ravens No. 2 running back.While Pierce hasbeen sidelined with a hamstring injury, the battle to serve as Ray Rice's topunderstudy has gone on without him. And Bobby Rainey continues to turn headsand make a strong push for the job. Pierce also is incompetition with second-year players Anthony Allen and Damien Berry, thoughneither of them stood out in the preseason opener at Atlanta the way Raineydid. Last year, theRavens opened the season with two backups to Rice -- Ricky Williams and AnthonyAllen -- though Allen was hurt most of the season. On paper, Pierce,the third-round draft pick out of Temple, would seem the favorite to win thejob over Rainey, an undrafted rookie out of Western Kentucky. But jobs are wonon the field, not on paper, and it's been on the field that Rainey hasexcelled, developing into one of the surprise stories of training camp. Rainey had 12carries for 36 yards against the Falcons, and also caught three passes for 28yards, including a nifty 18-yard touchdown on a screen pass. Rainey also servedas the Ravens' primary punt returner in Atlanta, and for any reserve trying tomake the final roster, special teams ability can make the difference.Now it's up toPierce to make up for lost time. The Ravens likedthe 6-foot, 218-pound Pierce enough to trade up seven spots in the third roundto grab him. And although is resume this preseason is very incomplete, after practiceSaturday, coach John Harbaugh sounded as if Pierce is still right in therunning for the job. "Its notthat hes behind or anything like that," Harbaugh said. "Hes justgoing to have to do well with the reps and opportunities that he gets, andthats going to be his body of work. ... Hes going to have to have learnedfrom the other peoples mistakes. We will see how well he did that in the nextcouple of weeks.
To the surprise of no one, former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is one step closer to Hall of Fame enshrinement.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Tuesday that Reed was named one of the 25 semifinalist for the 2019 class. Reed, cornerback Champ Bailey and tight end Tony Gonzalez are the only first-year eligible players that made the cut.
An obvious first-year ballot Hall of Famer, the next step in the selection process for Reed will take place on Thursday, January 3 when the semifinalist are cut down to 15 Modern-Era Finalist.
Finalist then must receive 80% positive vote from the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee on "Selection Saturday," one day prior to Super Bowl LIII. No more than five Modern-Era Finalist can be elected in a given year. The finalist will be formally enshrined Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Canton, Ohio.
The Ravens selected Reed in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft, and he would go on to play 11 seasons with the organization. During those 11 seasons, he was voted to the Pro Bowl nine times, was a five-time First-Team All-Pro and started 159 of 160 games.
On the field, Reed had 61 interceptions for 1,541 yards and seven touchdowns. In addition, the safety raked up 11 forced fumbles and 13 fumbles recovered for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Not to forget a Super Bowl XLVII championship.
Reed's enshrinement would make him the third Raven in the history of the organization to be enshrined in his first-year of eligibility alongside linebacker Ray Lewis and offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden.
MORE RAVENS NEWS:
- It was fate: Brown Jr.'s father predicted his future with Ravens
- Status unknown: No real answers on Flacco's return date
- Rookies take charge: Jackson and Edwards lead Ravens to another week
- National recognition: King awards Jackson with weekly honor
Rookie offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr.'s future with the Baltimore Ravens was predicted long before he was drafted in the third-round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
His father Orlando "Zeus" Brown, who played the same position for the Ravens from 1996-98 and again in 2003-05, saw in Brown Jr. what he saw in himself.
In an NFL Films feature 'Son of Zeus,' Brown Jr. recalls being at the Ravens' training facility with his father at a young age.
"We were leaving and he was just like, you know, 'you're going to end up back here' and 'it's gonna happen dog' and 'i just foresee it,' Brown Jr. said.
Initially, "Zeus" was not for his son playing the game, wanting him to focus his attention on his education. Brown Jr. convinced his father otherwise but was taught at a young age that nothing less than dominating every single play would be accepted.
And nearly 15 years after predicting his son's future and seven years after his sudden death, "Zeus's" epiphany came true when Brown Jr. received a phone call from Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome in April.
"The first thing he said, 'you're not kidding me are you? Is this for real?,' Newsome said on how Brown Jr. reacted. "And I go, 'yes, it's for real.'"
It was almost like a higher power was involved in the connection.
“Hey, your dad’s smiling down right now,” Newsome added.
"It was like almost like emotionally overwhelming you know just for the situation," Brown Jr. said.
During his six years with the Ravens, "Zeus" helped Jamal Lewis hit 2,000 rushing yards and even turned down larger offers to stay in Baltimore to be closer to his children.
Now 10 games into the season, Brown Jr. is playing in a way his late father would be proud of. He started four games and is proving to be a valuable addition to the offensive line.
MORE RAVENS NEWS: