Saturday, July 17, 2010
Ravens 2010 Running Backs
The 2010 Baltimore Ravens could have the best running backs group in the NFL this season---at least on paper. They return 2,000 all-purpose yards halfback Ray Rice, former pro bowler Willis McGahee, and fullback/short-yardage back LeRon McClain.
Rice is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous offensive players in the league. He ran for 1,339 yards and compiled over 70 receptions out of the backfield. Rice should be able to run for even more yards this season with the additions of wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth. These new wide-outs should command the presence from the defense that will not allow the opposition to just stack the box and stop the run. Rice, 23, should be able to hit the ground running from the opening game against the New York Jets.
McGahee is in his 4th season with the Ravens, and third as the backup after the Ravens drafted Rice in 2008. He went to the pro bowl in his first season with the team, but management and the new coaching staff didn’t care for his work ethic. The rest is history. McGahee, however, has handled his demotion with class and has taken it in stride. He continues to be one of the best backup backs in the league, and he continues to be a touchdown machine. He had 12 touchdowns and averaged 5.0 yards per carry in only 109 carries. With McGahee on board as the backup, the running game will not suffer one bit if something happens to Rice.
McClain has made the pro bowl as the fullback the last two seasons. He is a tremendous short yardage back and has accumulated 12 rushing touchdowns in 2008 and 2009. He has developed into a terrific lead blocker, as well. He figures to keep getting some short yard opportunities, and he has publicly pleaded to get more carries. That probably won’t happen, but McClain is all about winning and will do what it takes.
The running back situation in Baltimore is one that probably 30 teams would like to have. They have two backs capable of over 1,000 yards and a fullback that can knock people’s heads off. Look for big production out of this group.
Next post: Wide Receivers