In a twist for the Ravens defense, a new face has emerged for a starter at the SAM linebacker spot, as Albert McClellan is making the most of his chances, and he’s right now penciled in as the starter for the preseason opener.
Longtime special teams ace Albert McClellan is lining up as the starting SAM linebacker, stepping into the vacancy left by Courtney Upshaw’s departure in free agency.
And according to Head Coach John Harbaugh, it’s McClellan’s job to lose.
“Albert has started here at times, and he’s never disappointed,” Harbaugh said Thursday. “He’s battling for the spot. The spot is certainly up for grabs, just like a lot of spots are, but he’s the leader right now, and he’s doing a good job.”
McClellan has been one of the Ravens’ best special teams players over the past several years. He’s a captain on the unit and notched six tackles last year, tied for the second-most on the team.
In his growing role, he would likely continue playing special teams and share the starting outside linebacker gig opposite Terrell Suggs with Elvis Dumervil.
It will be fun to see the intensity that McClellan brings to the Ravens D, and if he can continue to make the most of his chances with a Ravens defense that will look for a spark from him in 2016.