Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Saturday, November 14, 2009

McGahee doesn't let lack of playing time affect his outlook

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee has done a commendable job of keeping his frustrations, if they exist, to himself due to his drastically reduced playing time.

The closest that the former Pro Bowl runner has come to taking issue with being phased out of the offense was reminding reporters this week that the Ravens won the first three games of the season as he scored seven touchdowns.

“I got it in me,” he said. “Don’t forget.”

The disappearance of McGahee as far as being a vital part of the offense has coincided with the rise of starting running back Ray Rice, one of the top all-purpose threats in the league.

McGahee has rushed for just 201 yards on 47 carries, less than half the workload of Rice.

Since producing games of 44, 79 and 67 rushing yards to begin the season, McGahee has rushed for 11, minus-two yards, three, minus-one and zero yards over the past five games.

After carrying the football 32 times during the first three games, McGahee has been limited to a total of 15 carries over the past five weeks.

“I’m cool, man,” McGahee said. “I look at it as I’m healthy this year. I have no injuries. My body’s in good shape. You’ve got to turn a negative into a positive.”

Meanwhile, Rice has rushed for 573 yards and five touchdowns on 108 carries while leading the team in receptions with 46 catches for 436 yards and one score.

For the first time this season, McGahee had no touches during a 17-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

“Ray is doing a great job,” McGahee said. “He gets hot in the game. As long as he stays hot, keep running the ball.”

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron reiterated that the lack of snaps overall have played a role in McGahee’s reduced role.

“Ray Rice is playing so well,” he said. “If Ray were playing poorly, then obviously Willis would play more. We would like to get Willis in there for two series in the first half.

“It’s been a snap issue more than anything. It’s been a Ray Rice level of play issue as well. We like all our backs, and the more snaps we have, the more they all are going to play.”

Despite his lack of involvement, McGahee hasn’t let it affect his positive mindset.

“You grow up, you get older and wiser,” McGahee said. “I’m not out there getting beat up. That’s the main thing.”

Does he expect to be back next season?

“I would hope so, but it’s a business,” he said. “You don’t know how it’s going to go.”
Photo by Sabina Moran

1 comment:

rakeback said...

Ray Rice is leading the Ravens in receiving and rushing, while splitting time with 2 other backs. If the defense can pick things up in the 2nd half of the season, they can become a very dangerous team.