Wake-up caw: Rice, Harbaugh finally talk

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice spoke to coach John Harbaugh on Monday to explain his arrest in Atlantic City, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Why did it take three days for the sides to communicate? Rice was arrested and charged in an incident involving his fiancee on Friday night. As soon as Rice was allowed to go home, his first call should have been to the team. If the Ravens hadn't heard from him, they should have been on the phone to find out what happened.

This isn't the third-string cornerback. This is the most important player on offense, according to offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. "I think as he goes, we'll go," Kubiak told the team's official website in an article that was posted hours before Rice's arrest.

Newsome told reporters Monday afternoon that neither he nor Harbaugh had talked with Rice. He said Rice is currently "a big part" of the Ravens' plans in 2014 but he said a decision wouldn't be made until he gets all of the answers. Maybe Rice's talk with Harbaugh clarified the situation. Rice's lawyers insist it was a "little more than a misunderstanding."

As I pointed out previously, Rice isn't in danger of being cut. Releasing him would cause the Ravens to lose salary-cap space instead of gain it, based on the way Rice's contract is structured. But Rice could get cut next season. Maybe the Ravens need to communicate that to him as well.

Here's the rest of your wake-up caw ...

  • Kubiak told the team's official website that he's confident quarterback Joe Flacco can run the bootleg. On that same topic, he clarified a perception of his offense. "Yeah [the bootleg] is a big part of what we do, but we've got to be able to do everything," Kubiak said. "It's funny how you get labeled with certain things. I hope that people would look at us and say we're going to have to do whatever have to do to win."

  • Rice's image could get tarnished by the assault charge, according to The Baltimore Sun. "It doesn't look good for him," said Howe Burch, a top executive with Baltimore-based TBC Advertising. "I think it clearly undermines the image he has crafted with the Ravens as one who gives back to the community. It's clearly a blemish on him and something he'll have to overcome."

  • The Ravens will keep their eyes on running backs at the NFL combine, according to Comcast SportsNet.