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Ravens 2010 Positional Review/Preview – Running Backs

Now that the season has drawn to a close for the Ravens the staff here at Ravens Gab figured it would be a good idea to assess each position and look ahead to see where upgrades can be made.

It’s the 2010 Review/Preview. Next, we take a look at the backfield.

Ravens Running Backs: Collective Grade B+

RB Ray Rice:  Grade A

Rice has been a total professional on and off the field. In the offseason Ray Rice works on strength and conditioning, as well as improving his skills.  During the season Ray Rice was under utilized until mid-way through the season.  Rice does a great job of eluding tacklers and for his size maintains his stamina throughout the game.  His receiving skills continue to improve each year.

Improvements:

Early on in the season Rice was a little indecisive hitting the hole.  With his speed, he needs to hit the hole quickly.  His ball security was spectacular during the season (450 attempts without a fumble) and it was unfortunate he fumbled in the playoff game in Pittsburgh. 

Improvements/ Goals in 2011:  Pass protection was good for most of the season. However, there were a few games where he missed a block or took a bad angle trying to block the pass rusher. The goal for next season should be to improve on pass blocking.  This offense should be featured around Ray Rice–which he may, as Coach Harbaugh will have a helping hand with Cam Cameron.  Rice also needs to be utilized in the passing game in the red-zone.  

Willis McGahee: B

McGahee was used in a back up capacity this year. For the most part when McGahee ran the ball he did a great job.

Improvements/ Goals in 2011: Assuming McGahee stays with the team he needs to be featured in short yardage or goaline situations with a power formation. McGahee sometimes doesn’t get his body low enough fighting for the short yards.

LeRon McClain: B

McClain was instrumental in blocking for Rice and was a key in blocking in the passing game. Overall a good year.  But I have always advocated that he should have been one of the featured ball carries.  Even to this day it seems he might have been better suited as a featured running back in short yardage and at the goaline. The problem was the team didn’t bring in a fullback to block for McClain.  In 2008 he had a successful season as the featured back. 

Improvements/ Goals in 2011: McClain is a free agent, he may want to go to a team where he will be one of the featured backs instead of a fullback. If he stays with the Ravens he would have to be guaranteed he would be part of the picture as far as being a ball carrier. The idea would be to pick up a fullback and feature McClain and Rice. 

Backup: Jalen Parmele has potential and was used in the kick return game. Depending on the status of McGahee and/or McClain, Parmele could be a dependable back up in the future.


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