Ray Rice is elite. Total yards from scrimmage during his 4 years as a starter:
The guy plays every down, is a key target on 3rd down, they made the playoffs every year (not just because of him, obviously, but it's worth noting), and he has never missed a game. Versatility and reliability are huge in the NFL nowadays (as are 2,000 yard seasons).
Ray Rice IS elite. He's basically what we've been looking for in Ronnie/Ricky, Reggie/Daniel, yet the Ravens found it all in one back. And they complimented him with a back that can also run the ball (Pierce). Until we find that back that can run/catch/block, we need to keep Miller, Thomas AND Reggie, because none can do all three things and be great at those things.
ray rice is definitely elite...and i'm pretty sure that if reggie bush was viewed as the perfect match for this offense and this scheme miami wouldn't be balking at paying him $5 mil per year on a contract extension...which seems to be the # thrown around about him...that's not deal breaker money by any means...i get that he makes something out of nothing a lot...i get it...i also get that he takes 2 yard losses or tries to bounce things wide plenty instead of pressing the hole and gaining what he can...and yeah he will throw in a 20 or even 40 plus yarder in there about once a game but from a consistency stand point it's just not there...i'd rather go with someone more consistent and one cut north and south in this o and blocking scheme...
hoops scoops 2012 season ..."in 2014 ryan tannehill etches his name in stone amongst the games elite qbs"..."ryan tannehill and andrew luck will carry the afc for the next decade plus the way peyton manning and tom brady have this last decade plus"
for the love of god get a real freaking mike already!!!
As for Alfred Morris, no Mike Shanahan RB (with the possible exception of Terrel Davis) should ever be considered elite. I could run for 1000 yards in his scheme.