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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-03


Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-03


Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-03
While the Ravens dominated, Willis McGahee just waited.


The Ravens running back didn't receive a carry in the team's 34-3 rout of the Cincinnati Bengals.

McGahee entered the game as the Ravens' leading rusher and was listed as their starting running back on the depth chart.

"We don't know what everybody is talking about," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We really like Willis McGahee. We think he is a really good player. We plan on Willis being a huge part of what we're doing in December. He's practicing real well. He's getting stronger and stronger throughout the course of the season. There's no question in my mind that Willis McGahee is a very talented back and he's going to be a huge part of what we're doing here down the stretch."

Instead of playing McGahee, the Ravens went with Le'Ron McClain.

The team's starting fullback, McClain made his first start at tailback Sunday. He finished with 86 yards rushing on 25 carries.

So why did the Ravens not play McGahee?

"We felt like it was best to go the way we went against Cincinnati," Harbaugh said. "It has to do with the Cincinnati game and the future games. It's all what we think gives us the best chance to win games as we go. Willis understands that."

It appears that McClain has taken over the role as the Ravens' featured back after he led the team in rushing for the second consecutive week.

McGahee was active but did not play for the third time this season. But unlike those two times, McGahee's absence Sunday was not injury-related.

"It's strategic," Harbaugh said of the decision to keep McGahee on the sidelines. "We've got a plan, and we've got a plan for Willis, I guarantee you. ...

"Willis can play, and he will play. We're going to put him in the best situation to play -- just like we are with Le'Ron and (rookie) Ray (Rice)."

Just as he has done in the past, McClain used his 6-foot, 260-pound frame to pummel Cincinnati's defense. He ran for 52 yards on 15 rushes in the first half, and McClain said Bengals linebacker Brandon Johnson told him that McClain was wearing out the tacklers.

McClain said his confidence as a tailback has grown as the coaching staff continues to give him the ball.

"Before, I was running just not to make mistakes," he said. "But now, I've gotten a little more comfortable and I'm catching my swagger. I hope to continue to contribute to get this team to the playoffs."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 3, 2008

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Chris Chester Name: Chris Chester
#65
Position: OG
Age: 25
Experience: 3 years
College: Oklahoma
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