Q&A with Alan Ricard

Player Spotlight Name: Alan Ricard Position: Fullback College: Northeast Louisiana Measurables: 5-foot-11, 237 pounds Age: 25 Hometown: Amite, La. Acquired: Ricard was signed by the Ravens as a free agent in 2000 after being cut by the Dallas Cowboys in 1999 as an undrafted rookie.

Resume: Ricard has started every game this season for the Ravens, serving as Jamal Lewis' bodyguard as a lead blocker. In replacing rugged veteran Sam Gash, Ricard has contributed to Lewis' 828 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Ricard has carried the football rarely, but has six attempts for 35 yards, including a 19-yard run for his first NFL touchdown. He has also caught four passes for 19 yards. Primarily before this season, Ricard was used on special teams. Now, he's blocking and Gash is advising him.

Role against Tennessee: Ricard will be used heavily on isolation plays to run interference for Lewis. Anticipate some head-knocking encounters with the Titans' excellent middle linebacker Randall Godfrey, an active player in pursuit who doesn't avoid confrontations, as well as outside linebacker Keith Bulluck. Ricard will also be needed in pass blocking for blitz protection against an unpredictable Titans' front seven.

Ravens Insider: "What do you expect from your matchup with Godfrey?"

Ricard: "He looks like a good linebacker. He's physical. He reads the offense very well. It should be fun to play against him."

Ravens Insider: "Is it tougher for you to get a hit on Godfrey because of his mobility?"

Ricard: "It's a challenge every week. I look at anybody as a challenge because it's my first year. As long as I do what I know how to do, I'll be just fine."

Ravens Insider: "How much will the isolation play with you leading the blocking up the middle be part of the offense?"

Ricard: "It's always pivotal. They're depending on me every week to make that block."

Ravens Insider: "How complicated is the Titans' defensive scheme?"

Ricard: "They jump into Bear Eagle late. They jump into a lot of different things late, so you have to have your head up and be alert."

Ravens Insider: "How would you explain Bear Eagle as a defense for those non-coaches and players out there?" Ricard: "Bear Eagle is when the linebackers stack up on the tight end and you have another running back outside the tight end."

Ravens Insider: "Do they have some tendencies that you've noticed?"

Ricard: "I'm always looking for any advantage I can get. I look for any indicators I can find. From watching tape, you can tell if a linebacker is cheating over or is going to blitz."

Ravens Insider: "Can you tell much from the way defenders act before you get down in your 3-point stance?"

Ricard: "I try to get a look at that, but I can't really see them too well. If anyone wants to give anything away to me I'll gladly accept that and take advantage. Studying is part of the game."


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