RB Bernard Pierce, Free agent
HT: 6-0, WT: 218, Born: 5-10-1991, College: Temple, Drafted: Round 3
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: W Welker (98), P Rivers (99), Bernard Pierce (100), Z Ertz (101), K Moreno (102)
Position: D Sproles (96-RB35), D Woodhead (97-RB36), Bernard Pierce (100 - RB37), K Moreno (102-RB38), D Williams (108-RB39)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: R Wilson (100), P Rivers (101), Bernard Pierce (102), D Bowe (103), K Moreno (104)
Position: D Sproles (96-RB35), S Jackson (97-RB36), Bernard Pierce (102 - RB37), K Moreno (104-RB38), D Freeman (106-RB39)
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Bernard Pierce entered 2013 with expectations as high as any backup rusher in the NFL. He, like his teammate ahead of him on the depth chart, struggled mightily. Pierce also had offseason shoulder surgery. He has been cleared for training camp, but any shoulder issue for a running back is far from insignificant. If healthy, Pierce could excel in Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiakís one-cut zone blocking system, as he was compared by some to Arian Foster coming out of college. Pierceís success is tied to both his health and that of Ray Rice. Both backs have the potential but need to bounce back from a bad 2013. Pierce will begin the season as the lead back due to Rice's two-game suspension. If successful in Kubiak's new scheme, this could be a full-blown committee approach when Rice returns.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Bernard Pierce failed to impress overall and wasnít utilized in the passing game as much as in the preseason. Pierce followed Vonta Leach on his first Carry and picked up 14. At the end of the run Pierce jumps instead of trying to lower his pad level. This has resulted in awkward falls and leaves him susceptible to big hits. He must quit this habit if he wants to make it through a 16(+) game season. This one run was the highlight of Pierceís night. Later in the same drive Pierce was stopped for no gain after Leach missed a block on the strong safety. His next run was also poorly blocked, and Pierce was dropped for a loss. However this wasnít the case for all of Pierceís short runs. There were multiple runs Pierce had a cutback lane and failed to see it. On one such play Michael Oher lost at point of attack but the cut back lane was there and Pierce left 6-7 yards on the field.
Week 2 - Bernard Pierce looked the part of a featured back before and after Rice went down. The Browns defensive line was consistently in the backfield but Pierce ran hard and well when the blocking was there. It was surprising to see Pierce get the goal line carry prior to Riceís injury. Pierce also got a red zone carry from the 6 yard line but was stopped. Pierce was most effective running with Vonta Leach as he excels reading his fullbackís blocks. The Browns were unable to stop the elusively fast Pierce from moving the chains late in the game and sealing the Ravens victory.
Week 3 - Bernard Pierce disappointed in his first NFL start. Pierce was tentative running and seemed to be hesitating too much and he didnít show much patience when it was needed either. There is no doubt Pierce left yards on the field and his 25 yard carry inflated his already putrid yards per attempt. Pierce seems unable to create space and set up defenders. However he is impressive when given space and the offensive line played poorly. J.J. Watt was constantly in the backfield as no one on the Ravens offensive line could contain him. Pierce did perform well in pass protection in his limited opportunities but is just adequate as a pass catcher.
Week 4 - Bernard Pierce was barely a factor in the game against Buffalo. The Ravens decided to abandon the run and go into a pass happy mode. Rice received most of the snaps in passing situations.
Week 5 - Bernard Pierce played his best game of the season against the Dolphins. Pierce missed badly on a blitz pick up attempt early in the first quarter but didnít look back and was the Ravenís most effective ball carrier. He looked very decisive and wasnít afraid of getting north and south instead of the hesitance he has showed when there isnít a clear running lane. He looked better than Rice on his touches and is a bigger threat for big plays. Towards the end of the third quarter ran behind Yanda and Leach to the edge showing off his speed and gaining 28.
Week 6 - Bernard Pierce didnít have much more success than Rice on the ground. Pierce was frequently met in the backfield by unblocked defenders. The Ravens were much more successful running power instead of zone. Pierce is also a better power runner than zone so hopefully the Ravens can see this to help fix their running game.
Week 7 - Bernard Pierce was stuffed on third and short when the Ravens brought in extra lineman to try to power through the Steelers line. Unfortunately the Ravenís extra linemen are just as bad as their starters and failed to get any push for Pierce. Pierce missed a blitz pick up and Flacco was nearly strip sacked. Pierce then missed a cutback lane that would have picked up a 2nd and 1. Pierce looked more decisive than before but needs to improve his vision and patience.
Week 9 - On Bernard Pierceís first snap he allowed DíQwell Jackson to walk him back to Flacco in pass protection and it resulted in a sack when Flacco couldnít escape the pocket. Pierce then tried to bounce a run outside instead of cutting inside and was dropped for a loss. Pierce was able to convert a 3rd and 1 into a first down. Something the Ravens have been struggling to do consistently with their offensive woes. Pierce didnít receive many snaps and didnít look good in a small sample.
Week 10 - Bernard Pierce is clearly much more elusive as a runner and receiver than Ray Rice. Pierce canít create yardage like Rice used to but heís an effective ball carrier who the Ravens should feature more and more as the season progresses. On the Ravenís second drive they featured Bernard Pierce and he repaid them with positive yardage on running plays and a couple of receptions for first downs. Pierce did have a drop in the passing game but overall looked good.
Week 11 - Bernard Pierce played his worst game of the year and possibly of his career. Pierce missed a huge hole on his first carry and was dropped for a three yard gain. His second carry was horribly blocked and Pierce exacerbated the situation by running outside and losing 4 yards. Pierce did look better as the game went on but never looked great. Pierce tried bouncing another run outside and was dropped for a loss again.
Week 12 - Bernard Pierce found little running room behind the Ravens offensive line. Pierc e looked much better than last week and fought for extra yardage. Pierce received all but one carry when the Ravens tried to run out the clock. Pierce is clearly a more effective short yardage than Rice. Pierce did give up a sack in pass protection but it was negated by penalty.
Week 13 - Bernard Pierce looked good and was able to use his blocks much better than Rice. Pierce looked good early running behind the right side of the Ravenís line. He showed power running behind Yanda and got the edge following Dickson and Oher. Pierce doesnít get swallowed up by contact and fights for extra yardage.
Week 14 - Bernard Pierce was used sparingly as is his production doesnít warrant further use. Pierce looked excellent in the 3rd quarter. He was breaking tackles and using his blocks very well. He fought for extra yardage on a short reception never stopping his leg drive and picking up a key first down.
Week 15 - Bernard Pierce found room off of right tackle and got the edge for a 10 yard gain. He looked slow trying to eat up ground and may be playing through injury. Pierce doesnít seem to have much power either despite the added weight.
Week 16 - Bernard Pierce was one of the lone bright spots for the Ravens. He ran with power and hit the hole with good acceleration. Pierce had an impressive run reversing sides of the field as Michael Oher was pushed a few yards behind the line of scrimmage. Pierce retreated several yards behind the line of scrimmage before cutting up field and gaining 5 yards. Pierce was used as an effective safety valve for Flacco. He ran hard and maximized his yards after the catch.
Week 17 - Bernard Pierce was impressive in his limited action. Pierce seemed the focal point of the Ravenís offense after the first couple possessions. He converted two short yardage 3rd downs with gains of 9 and 14. The offensive line was able to open holes early and Pierce was running through arm tackles. The Ravens engineered their longest significant drive with Pierce as the driving force.