- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
BALTIMORE, Md. -- Recently we caught up with Ravens rookie tailback Ray Rice to discuss, among other things, why he went to Rutgers and why he calls Baltimore's defense "scary."
1. Why Rutgers? It wasn't a football school before you arrived.
Ray Rice: Throughout the recruiting process, I just wanted a coach that was honest with me, and that's why I got with coach (Greg) Schiano. He's a man of his word and I respect him still to this day. He told me stuff that was true and he's more like a father figure. That's the thing about that program, he's leading guys in the right direction.
2. How is your body feeling after 22 carries against the Cincinnati Bengals in your first regular-season game?
RR: Oh, it's sore. It's just your regular soreness after a game. The whole game flow is different from the preseason. So it's good to get this one under your belt because you know what to look forward to. Everybody is going to come with their best. It's not like in college, where you can look at film of opponents and know that you can actually beat these guys. Every week now you have an opponent that you have to play a full game to win.
3. Many talk about how quickly the holes close in the pro game verses college.
RR: Yes, that's the truth. You can see that with our own defense. When you run the ball on our own defense, as a running back you have to take the two yards, try to get three and hope that it adds up. Then you might bust a big one later in the game, that's usually how the big runs happen two or three times a game.
4. What was it like to take that hard shot from teammate Bart Scott in training camp?
RR: He actually ripped my helmet off at the end of the pile. But our initial contact with each other felt pretty good. Being that it was Bart Scott, I'm a rookie and I know his reputation as a hitter. It felt good hitting him. Now I see what other backs have to go through when they go against him. So for me to withstand something like that means a lot to me when you have a guy like Bart that can bring it every down.
5. Tricky question: Would you rather face Baltimore's defense on game day or three or four days a week in practice?
RR: I'd rather face them three or four days a week in practice so I won't have to face them on Sundays. Because on game day they are on a whole new level. Quite frankly, it's scary. I'm not being naïve or anything about it, they are scary to play on game day. When they're playing together, there is nothing like it. I feel we have the best defense in the league.