Homecoming for Ravens rookie Bernard Pierce

FootballSportsBernard PierceBaltimore RavensPhiladelphia EaglesRay RiceCincinnati Bengals

For Ravens rookie running back Bernard Pierce, Sunday represents a homecoming as he returns to his Philadelphia roots.

When the Ravens play the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, it's familiar territory for Pierce.

The third-round draft pick from Temple rushed for 3,570 career yards and 53 touchdowns in three seasons and grew up in nearby Ardmore, Pa.

"I've been in that stadium before, that was our home stadium," Pierce said. "I'll think about it as a little reunion. Hopefully, I can do something."

A new father of a baby boy and engaged to be married, Pierce has accumulated a lot of tickets for family and friends for this game.

Although Pierce grew up in the heart of Eagles country, he wasn't a fan.

"I grew up a football fan, I never had a favorite team," said Pierce, an all-state selection at Glenn Mills High School who rushed for 1,578 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior while winning the 100 meters in 10.6 clocking, the fastest time in the state. "That was the local team I followed."

Installed as the primary backup to Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, Pierce rushed for 19 yards on four carries in his first NFL regular-season game as the Ravens defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 44-13, on Monday night at M&T Bank Stadium. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry.

After the game, though, Pierce was disappointed.

"I was a little sore, but that's the game," Pierce said. "No matter what your performance is, you can always do better. I felt like I can contribute a lot more and do a lot better."

awilson@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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FootballSportsBernard PierceBaltimore RavensPhiladelphia EaglesRay RiceCincinnati Bengals
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