Can Hammock Bring Ray Rice Back To Life?
By Jake Del Mauro
The Baltimore Ravens have hit the ground running this offseason, starting with the running part.
On Wednesday, the Ravens hired former Wisconsin RB coach Thomas Hammock to help revive their once-potent rushing attack. This, after Ray Rice rushed for only 660 yards last season in what even he admitted was an off year. Granted, Hammock has never had an NFL job before, however his resume is not lacking one bit. Hammock was a running back for Northern Illinois from 1999-2002, and from there left to become a graduate assistant at Wisco. To cut to the chase, let's take a look at his jobs as RB coach and who he helped mold:
Nothern Illinois (2005-2006)
Hammock helped Wolfe become statistically, one of the best running backs the college ranks has ever seen. In 2006, Wolfe rushed for 1,928 yards, and is one of four players to rush for 1,500 yards in three season. Wolfe later became a 3rd round draft pick for the Chicago Bears.
Monte Ball, James White, Melvin Gordon
Following three years at Minnesota, where he helped the Gophers offense each year he was there, Hammock helped Ball become a Heisman finalist in 2011, and was also an All-American. His 39 TDs tied Barry Sanders's record for most in a season. White and Gordon have been helping the Badgers most recently, including both putting up over 1,000 yards this past season. White will be entering the draft this season, and Gordon will surely be on preseason Heisman and All-American watch lists.
Obviously, Hammock has a skill of finding talent and getting the max out of it. Getting Rice (and maybe White in the later rounds?) will be just another experiment, and this one can pay off in even bigger rewards.