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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-09

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-09

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-12-09
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday that the team will continue to use a running back by committee, refusing to name a No. 1 running back for the rest of the season.

Le'Ron McClain, who plays fullback and tailback, has led the Ravens in rushing the past three weeks. He is also the healthiest back after Willis McGahee (shoulder stinger) and Ray Rice (ankle) both sustained injuries in the Ravens' 24-10 win over the Washington Redskins.

But Harbaugh emphasized that the team will stick with all three running backs.

"You guys (reporters) want us to name a starter and say he's our No. 1 back," Harbaugh said. "We just don't it that way. We've got three guys right now that are our guys."

McClain leads the Ravens in rushing yards (606) and rushing touchdowns (seven). Rice leads the Ravens in yards per carry (4.2).

McGahee, who was expected to be an every-down back this season, has been the biggest disappointment. In the past three games, McGahee has totaled 58 yards.

In Sunday night's game, McGahee finished with 32 yards rushing. He had one fumble and didn't break a run longer than six yards.

When a reporter suggested that McGahee didn't play well, Harbaugh said, "I don't see it that way."

Added Harbaugh: "I think Willis hammered it up in there."

Harbaugh said McGahee experienced some "tingling" but is expected to be fine. He indicated that Rice "looks OK."

Of all three backs, McClain seems primed to handle most of the carries.

On the offense's game-cementing 12-play drive in the fourth quarter Sunday night, McClain carried the football 10 times for 43 yards. He opened the series with five consecutive rushes for 28 yards and ran five straight times for 15 more. His last gain, a 5-yarder off the left guard, preceded quarterback Joe Flacco's 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Derrick Mason with 3:35 left in the game.

Before his runs on that pivotal possession, McClain had rushed for just 16 yards on six carries, and he rumbled into the end zone from 8 yards out.

"I knew the position we were in and what we had to do," McClain said, referring to a then-precarious seven-point lead after Washington quarterback Jason Campbell found wide receiver Antwaan Randle El for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 11:27 left in the final period. "They just scored, and we wanted to come back like we've been doing. I was just thinking, 'First downs and then touchdown.'"

McGahee started Sunday night after not playing in last week's 34-3 win against the Cincinnati Bengals and gained just 32 yards on 11 carries. He coughed up a fumble in the fourth quarter and suffered a shoulder stinger on the same play. Rice gained 31 yards on three carries, but he injured his left leg in the third quarter and did not return. "I didn't feel like there was any pressure because it was just my opportunity to step up," McClain said. "And I felt like I did that."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 9, 2008

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Gary Stills Name: Gary Stills
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Age: 34
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