Monday, November 9, 2009

Missing McClain

The Ravens have sorely missed Le'Ron McClain on offense this season.

Looking at the Ravens and what ails them 8 games into the season, it's not hard to see that the Ravens have struggled to maintain drives during their 4 losses.

Yesterday, the Ravens held the ball for only 20 minutes.

In 2008, the Ravens lead the NFL in time of possession. And one of the biggest reasons for that was RB Le'Ron McClain.

In 2008, McClain had 902 rush yards, 10 rush TD's and 1 receiving TD. The Ravens used him in a closer role, as McClain's massive 260 pound frame wore down opposing defenses in the 3rd and 4th quarter of games.

Flash forward to the mid-point of 2010 and McClain has just 78 yards rushing, and 1 TD.

The reason? In 2008, McClain had future Hall of Fame fullback Lorenzo Neal blocking for him. In 2009, McClain is doing the blocking for Ray Rice and Willis McGahee.

It's a shame the Ravens let Neal walk and then never picked up another fullback during the offseason. Because the Ravens are much better off with McClain sharing duty with Rice as one of the Ravens running backs.

So who is to blame for this oversight?

None other than Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

Cameron is too enamored with his new weapons, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice, to realize what he has in McClain. Cameron has basically brought his San Diego offense with Philip Rivers and Ladanian Tomlinson and set it up here in Baltimore. Only, Flacco and Rice are not at the level of Rivers and Tomlinson -- yet -- and the Ravens offense is much more one-dimensional than the Chargers ever were. If opposing teams can contain Rice you can shut down the Ravens offense.

So maybe an embarrassing loss to the Bengals and a 4-4 first half will wake up Cameron and some of the Ravens coaches, prompting them to realize that McClain needs to be reinstated as a RB instead of a FB.

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