Well a pretty boring Tuesday afternoon in Cleveland Browns land just got kicked up a notch. Head Coach Mike Pettine told SI.com that the team has discussed the possibility of bringing in former Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice. The context of his statements is very important but it leaves little doubt that Rice is at minimum an option for the Browns.
Trying first not to take Pettine's comments out of context lets take a look at some of what he said:
“Of course it’s a natural question here because of [Browns running backs coach] Wilbert [Montgomery], and because I was with Ray when he was a Ravens rookie (in 2008) and know a lot of people in Baltimore,” Pettine said. “Obviously Wilbert was his position coach for Ray’s first six years in the league (2008–13). I’m not going to say it didn’t come up in discussion, but at this point we’re not there yet.”
When asked wehther the Browns would have interest in Rice, Pettine didn't mince words. The conect with Browns RB coach Wilbert Montgomery, the only RB coach Rice had in Baltimore and the team's stated concern about their RB situation makes Rice an obvious combination. That Pett said the team is not there yet will be read as "soon" by many.
He didn't say anything other than Rice was discussed.
On the other hand, Pettine stated that Rice's background, we are for sure hitting on it in the "thoughts" section, has not been a part of the discussions about bringing Rice in:
“I don’t think it’s gotten to that point, to say, ‘Hey, I’d kind of be comfortable with it,’” Pettine said. “But I think it would get to that point if we arrived at it from a football standpoint, then asked that question. Instead of working the process backwards. Why bother with asking the question if the need never presents itself?”
So until the Browns decide Rice is the best fit for a need on the team, they won't decide whether his background would keep him from being the one to fill that need. The Browns may decide Rice is the best fit on the field but decide against signing him because of his background that has kept him from signing this season.
Mike Pettine is not someone who minces words. Ray Rice has been discussed by the Cleveland Browns but the team currently has no plans to sign him nor have they discussed how his background would impact that decision.
That being said, I have some thoughts.
- What Ray Rice did to his wife is terrible, horrible and he should have received more punishment legally.
- Men have done similar things and returned to the NFL and been given a second chance.
- Some people will never forgive Rice for what he did.
- It seems like his wife has.
- (As a mental health professional) Only Rice and his wife have the righto to judge their relationship.
- (As a mental health professional) Those who have been the victim, or been close friends with a victim, of domestic violence will take Ray Rice signing with the Browns very emotionally.
- No one should minimize his actions against his wife.
- Some fans only care if Rice helps the Browns, if he were to be signed.
- Ray Rice would be playing in the NFL if his last season wasn't his worst, with 660 yards and 3.1 yards per carry.
- The Browns, just like the other 31 teams, have decided that he isn't worth it, so far, based on the combination of production and the video that surfaced last year.
- Sadly, if there was no video Rice would still be playing in the NFL, likely with the Ravens.
- I think Pettine is willing to sign him based on his background or he wouldn't have brought him up.
- I have no clue what GM Ray Farmer might be thinking.
- I think the Browns are very frustrated with their RB situation.
- Ray Rice's on the field work ethic and leadership could be a welcome addition to the RB room.
- Montgomery and Pettine have pulled no punches about the team's stable of backs being out of shape and disappointing.
- If the Browns sign Rice, the team will bring on media attention similar to what they got last year with drafting Johnny Manziel.
- The first or second Pre-season game will decide whether the Browns sign Rice or not. If the backs look good, this story ends. If not, I think Rice gets signed.
- I am a fan of forgiveness but if the Browns sign Rice I will also struggle with wanting the snot knocked out of him on every play.
Those are some of my honest thoughts.
What are yours?