Rice named Ravens team MVP, sits out practice

In what was an incredibly tight vote, running back Ray Rice was selected as the Ravens’ 2011 team MVP, as voted on by members of the media that cover the team on a regular basis.

Rice finished the regular season ranking first in the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage. He also was second in the league in rushing yards (1,364) and recorded a Ravens record 15 total touchdowns (12 rushing and three receiving).

The fourth-year running back actually trailed in the MVP voting going into the final week of the regular season, but after his 191-yard, two-touchdown performance in the Ravens’ Week 17 win over the Bengals, Rice overtook linebacker Terrell Suggs, who previously held the edge for the award.

Suggs finished the regular season with a career-high 14 sacks and he led the NFL with seven forced fumbles.

Personally, I voted for Rice, although I don’t think you could have gone wrong either way. While Suggs had a monster season and is in consideration for Defensive Player of the Year, I think the Ravens’ offense would have been in bad shape without Rice, while the defense could have gotten by without Suggs.

What do you think; did we get the voting right?

Meanwhile, safety Bernard Pollard won this year’s Media Good Guy award, which is handed out to the player who is most accommodating to reporters and gives us good, insightful material to work with.

Since I didn’t mention it last night, I wanted to pass along word that Suggs was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for December/January and Rice was awarded the FedEx Ground Player of the Week for Week 17.

Rice did not take part in practice today after participating in yesterday’s session. Also missing practice today were guard Marshal Yanda, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and linebackers Brendon Ayanbadejo, Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain.

Left guard Ben Grubbs returned to practice today after missing Wednesday’s practice.

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