Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked Monday whether he was comfortable sticking with the hot hand at running back or if he preferred one back to step up to become the featured runner.
"I don't really care. It doesn't matter," Harbaugh said. "I just want yards. I want us to be averaging 4.5 to 5 yards per carry, and 5 yards a carry is what will lead the league. To do that, we have to rip off some long runs. And let's be good with three different guys. That's what we need to do."
The Ravens' running back by committee is working. The Ravens rank No. 9 in the NFL with an average of 4.7 yards per carry, and they're doing it by being the only team with three backs who have over 30 carries.
Justin Forsett, who has started the past three games, is the leading rusher with 297 yards. But Harbaugh made a point to say that he wants more carries for Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro. You get the sense that Harbaugh liked what he saw out of Pierce, whose four runs went for 13, 12, 3 and 3 yards, according to the story. Against the Panthers, Taliaferro was the closer and came on in the second half against a tired Panther defense, but didn't see much time when the Ravens trailed against the Colts Week 5. It very well could depend on how the game is going in terms of how each back is used. At least for now, Forsett is probably the safest among the three.