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News » Baltimore Ravens Notes, Quotes 2009-05-15


Baltimore Ravens Notes, Quotes 2009-05-15


Baltimore Ravens Notes, Quotes 2009-05-15
--Only a few months after finishing as the Ravens' leading rusher, Le'Ron McClain has returned to being the team's starting fullback.


At the Ravens' mandatory minicamp, McClain was lining up in front of tailback Ray Rice instead of taking the carries. While McClain was never the Ravens' full-time tailback last season, he led the team with 902 yards rushing -- 231 more than the second-leading rusher (Willis McGahee).

But McClain made it known that he would prefer to be running instead of blocking.

"With the success I had last year at halfback, I'm leaning more towards tailback," said McClain, who also scored a team-best 11 touchdowns last season. "But you know me, I'll do whatever to help the team."

He then added, "I just want to continue to get better and show them that's the position (tailback) I want to play."

McClain was a fourth-round pick in 2007, joining the Ravens after a solid career as a fullback at Alabama. Last season, when Willis McGahee went down with injuries, the Ravens turned to McClain to carry the ball.

But it appears that the Ravens envision McClain replacing fullback Lorenzo Neal, who has signed with the Oakland Raiders.

"Le'Ron isn't the player he was a year ago," offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. "He reminds me a lot of Lorenzo Neal. In my mind, (Neal) is still here."

--Derrick Mason said he believes the Ravens will give him a contract extension before the start of the regular season.

Mason, 35, has been the team's only dependable receiver, leading the Ravens in catches for three of his four seasons here. He is entering the final year of his contract.

"I'm very confident that it will get done," Mason said. "I hope management has the same confidence that I have that it will get done. I'm not going to worry about it until I need to worry about it. Right now, I'm just concentrating on getting healthy and trying to do what I can to make this football team better."

--Michael Oher, the 23rd overall pick in the draft, didn't seem wide-eyed when he was thrown into the mix, working at right tackle with the first-team offense during mandatory minicamp. The Ravens' other right tackles -- Willie Anderson and Adam Terry -- were sidelined with injuries.

"Me and coach, we worked on a lot of plays the night before so I was comfortable," Oher said. "I know I'm going to work hard to be best player I can be."

--Most of the veterans didn't participate in the final day of the mandatory minicamp because of coach John Harbaugh's 30-plus club (he gives players over the age of 30 every third day off). But Harbaugh did point out that new center Matt Birk, 32, practiced. "He was 29 today," Harbaugh said of Birk.

-- Paul Kruger, the Ravens' second-round pick, had a rough start to his Ravens career.

The linebacker-defensive end out of Utah took an overnight flight and arrived in Baltimore at 6 a.m. Friday. He missed the first major defensive meeting, and coordinator Greg Mattison tried to get him up to speed during a noon meeting.

"He couldn't keep his head up," Mattison said. "The poor guy was (nodding off), and I'm asking him every question -- 'OK, what about this?' -- and he's giving me the answer."

--Rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans will report to Ravens training camp July 27, the team announced. The rest of the team will arrive at McDaniel College on July 29.

The Ravens have scheduled 25 days of practice before moving back to team headquarters in Owings Mills. This marks the 14th year that the Ravens have held training camp in Westminster.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's like your granddad. Greg has been in the game for longer than when most of us were born. So just understanding that part of it gives him great credibility, really makes him who he is." -- Linebacker Ray Lewis on new defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who is entering his 38th year of coaching.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 15, 2009

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Quinn Sypniewski Name: Quinn Sypniewski
#88
Position: TE
Age: 26
Experience: 3 years
College: Colorado
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