A 38-16 win against the Cleveland Browns was a strong start to the season for the Ravens, and fullback Patrick Ricard believes his team’s performance Sept. 13 was a testament to how hard the Ravens worked during the pandemic-altered offseason. And even though he’s frustrated with his red-zone fumble, Ricard is pleased with where the team stands.
After an unusual offseason and no preseason games, Ricard wanted his team to dominate in Week 1 to set the tone for the rest of the season, and the Ravens did just that.
“For us to go out there and have the game we did, I think it just shows how [good] of an offseason we had and the way we conducted our business and being able to work around everything that’s happening,” Ricard said on Glenn Clark Radio Sept. 15.
Ricard, though, is bothered by his errors, specifically his fumble on the Browns’ 7-yard line that resulted in a turnover. He knows it cost the team points and that it is essential to keep working in practice to right his wrong.
“That was the first time that I’ve fumbled since I’ve been here, so that alone is something that bugs me, frustrates me, but at the end of the day we did play very well as a team,” Ricard said. “So there’s things to focus on. I’m trying to get over it. Once we have our meetings and everything [I’ll] get by it, I’ll move on and get ready for Houston.”
The Ravens’ fullback, now in his fourth year in Baltimore, knows that not all wins are perfect and not all players are perfect. He believes it is important to recognize one’s mistakes no matter the outcome of the game in which they occur. Ricard has always had that mindset.
“I’m very critical of myself,” Ricard said. “I have high expectations, always want to do well, but regardless it’s a very good start to the season. I’m excited for these wins to keep coming.”
Ricard knows he has to keep practicing and getting better every week, especially considering he’s such a versatile player. He can be thrown on the field as a fullback, tight end or even as a defensive lineman. The 6-foot-3, 311-pound Ricard, who was undrafted out of Maine, has 13 receptions for a total of 68 yards and three touchdowns. He also has 18 tackles on defense, 13 of which were solo, and one sack.
Moving from position to position has taught Ricard that hard work pays off no matter where you are on the field. With his ability to play, and succeed, at different positions, Ricard has a lot of room to improve his all-around skill set. The one word he uses to describe his career? Evolve.
“That’s kind of been my word for my career is evolve, and every year I usually try to expand my role in some different way,” Ricard said. “It’s almost like, ‘Where is Pat this year?’ … That’s the same question asked, and I love it. It makes the game more fun, keep doing new things. It can be frustrating at times, doing things I’ve never done before and I have to do them at the highest level against these great athletes and guys who have been playing their positions for years and years, and here I am trying to do something that I’ve never done before year after year.”
A constant theme for the Ravens and the rest of the NFL is the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the season. A fanless environment at M&T Bank Stadium did not seem to affect the Ravens during their dominant victory Sept. 13, but it definitely is a little strange for the athletes.
Ricard noted that coming out of the tunnel was the moment he knew that things were a little off, which left guard Bradley Bozeman predicted would be the case for players. Without the roar of the crowd and no opposing fans taunting him, Ricard sensed a disconnect from what game day usually is like.
“We’ve had a few practices in the stadium during training camp and just from that alone we knew it was going to be very different and kind of weird,” Ricard said. “We just didn’t quite know how it was going to be with another team there, playing against them and seeing some of the cutouts in the stands. But when we ran out of the tunnel and we were out there it was a little different. It almost felt a little more relaxed because you don’t have thousands of people screaming and cheering and booing and being fans.”
For more from Ricard, listen to the full interview here,
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox