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Old 05-15-2008, 05:49 AM   #1
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Default Ravens plan for Willis McGahee

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens might not know the identity of their starting quarterback, but they do know who they expect to carry the bulk of their offensive load.
Willis McGahee has demonstrated the capacity to do exactly that during his five NFL seasons.
In 2007, his first year with the Ravens, he was an alternate selection to the Pro Bowl after finishing fourth in the AFC in rushing with 1,207 yards and seven touchdowns. And McGahee is expected to be asked to do even more this year, given that the Ravens' No. 1 quarterback will either be a rookie (Joe Flacco), a second-year pro with only two starts (Troy Smith), or a sixth-year veteran who has yet to establish himself (Kyle Boller).
"I'm looking forward to that challenge," McGahee said during the Ravens' recent mandatory minicamp. "Actually, this is a year I'm really excited about. Out of all my years playing football, I'm (most) excited about this year."
He should be.
Doug Pensinger / Getty ImagesWillis McGahee will be the central figure in the Ravens' offense this season, a role the running back is looking forward to filling.
Cam Cameron, the Ravens' new offensive coordinator, is installing a scheme that will call for McGahee to have the ball in his hands plenty of times as a runner and a receiver. Cameron has the same plans for McGahee that he used so successfully with LaDainian Tomlinson when Cameron ran the San Diego Chargers' offense.
It is not a stretch to see a highly productive McGahee easing the burden on Flacco, Smith, or Boller the way Tomlinson has during Philip Rivers' first two seasons as the Chargers' starter in 2006 and 2007.
"I'm excited about him, I can tell you that," Cameron said of McGahee. "Last year was the first time I had seen him in person playing. I didn't know he was that big (6-foot, 232 pounds). He's big and physical. I think he's just scratching the surface of what he can be, based on what I've seen."
McGahee couldn't agree more.
He arrived in Baltimore last season with the intention of being a major contributor. For the most part, he achieved that, despite missing the season finale with broken ribs. Now he is prepared to be a large part of the Ravens' efforts to rebound from the bitter disappointment of a 5-11 record.
"The main thing was to come here to try to help the team, be that back that they wanted me to be," McGahee said. "I did accomplish a couple of things when I got here. One of my goals was to go to the Pro Bowl. That's still part of my goals, to go to the Pro Bowl, but be a certified pick-in. I was an alternate last year. I want to be guaranteed, so that's the goal this year."
The Ravens' new offensive approach should do plenty to help make that a reality.
"Sometimes you can say, 'I want to throw to set up the run,'" Cameron said. "Well, we're going to run to set up the passing game. That's our starting point. That's kind of my history. It just gives you a foundation to build from.
"You want to help a young quarterback? A running game helps tremendously. I don't think there are any quarterbacks that are just carrying teams. Defenses are too good for that. You look at the quarterbacks that are playing well, they've got talent around them.
"But you can't just figure you're going to hand it to (the running backs) all the time. You want to get them the ball in a variety of ways. There are so many good run defenses. There's one for sure (Pittsburgh's), maybe two, in our division. Sometimes you get those guys biting and you throw it to (the backs)."
Willis McGahee's career statsYearAtt.YardsRec.YardsTDs20072941,20743231820 0625999018156620053251,24728178520042841,128221691 3
McGahee, traded to Baltimore last year after four seasons with the Buffalo Bills (he missed the entire 2003 season with a knee injury), has never been used extensively as a receiver. He caught a career-high 43 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown in '07, but anticipates making many more receptions in Cameron's offense. He's looking forward to matching one of the top pass-catching seasons that Tomlinson has enjoyed: 100 in 2003, 79 in 2002, and 60 last season.
It stands to reason that the greater a multiple threat that McGahee can become, the more effective the Ravens' offense can be in keeping opposing defenses off-balance and creating a more comfortable atmosphere in which the quarterback can make reads and decisions.
"We've got a new coaching staff and the offense they're putting in is the best one I've been around so far, so I'm excited about it," McGahee said. "(Cameron) gets the backs more involved in the passing game. I feel I've got pretty good hands, so I felt like I should have been more (involved) in the passing game. We're looking forward to (doing what Tomlinson has done in San Diego). Not to be like him, but to be better."
"It was fun to watch LaDainian develop as a receiver in his first couple of years," Cameron said. "He's really developed into a great receiver, but he'll tell you that it took a lot of work. And no question (McGahee's receiving skill is) going to do nothing but get better and better and better."
No one should be happier about that than the Ravens' starting quarterback, whoever that might be.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ravens plan for Willis McGahee

oh, NO, not McGahee, I'm scared....oh please stop....not McGahee. What will our defense do? OH my gosh he'll run all over us...and, and, and....




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Old 05-15-2008, 08:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ravens plan for Willis McGahee

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oh, NO, not McGahee, I'm scared....oh please stop....not McGahee. What will our defense do? OH my gosh he'll run all over us...and, and, and....




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i thought we were suppost to be scared of that ravens defense
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ravens plan for Willis McGahee

McGahee is a good running back and u can't deny that.. but 4 him to carry more of the load when u have no passing off the def weill just stack the box and make u throw the ball which they are horrible at
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ravens plan for Willis McGahee

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McGahee is a good running back and u can't deny that.. but 4 him to carry more of the load when u have no passing off the def weill just stack the box and make u throw the ball which they are horrible at
sucks to be the ravens then..lol.. they have boller.. oh wait no, they have troy smith, no wait, i know they have someone that can throw the ball... flacco?? but do they have anyone that can actually catch the ball???
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ravens plan for Willis McGahee

Maybe its just me, but I think that the Ravens could be dangerous. They still have a very respectful defense dont ya think? I think that if they can get a QB that wont turn the ball over I think that they can win some games. McGahee is a nice back and he runs hard, but of course you got to have some help from the offense.
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ravens plan for Willis McGahee

but if u do find a qb to play and most likely be flacco 4 the future ur going have to get some receiving threats.. heap was injured a lot last yr.. mason is old and idk the other wr's they have b/c there not good
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ravens plan for Willis McGahee

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Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
Maybe its just me, but I think that the Ravens could be dangerous. They still have a very respectful defense dont ya think? I think that if they can get a QB that wont turn the ball over I think that they can win some games. McGahee is a nice back and he runs hard, but of course you got to have some help from the offense.
Its Just You

Their Defense is good, but they have an entirely new coaching staff, so its going to be tough for them to jell with the new regime. And there aren't too many Dan Marino first year sensations at QB that light the league up in their Rookie season...well there is a guy named Ben but that's not important.

What is important is that with a questionable O-line, a young QB whoever it is and a new style in coaching from top to bottom, it is going to be very hard for the Ravens to rebound to a point where they are a viable playoff team.

We'll see, I think they will finish 2nd in the AFC North and maybe get to 9 or 10 wins, but they will be a road team in the wild card at best and if they play anyone with any type of speed on defense, I don't see them getting past the 1st round.
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ravens plan for Willis McGahee

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Its Just You

Their Defense is good, but they have an entirely new coaching staff, so its going to be tough for them to jell with the new regime. And there aren't too many Dan Marino first year sensations at QB that light the league up in their Rookie season...well there is a guy named Ben but that's not important.

What is important is that with a questionable O-line, a young QB whoever it is and a new style in coaching from top to bottom, it is going to be very hard for the Ravens to rebound to a point where they are a viable playoff team.

We'll see, I think they will finish 2nd in the AFC North and maybe get to 9 or 10 wins, but they will be a road team in the wild card at best and if they play anyone with any type of speed on defense, I don't see them getting past the 1st round.
I dont think its just me, this team should be very much improved over last year and it wont take long to figure it out I'm sure. I think if the QB no matter who it is, if he will not throw INT's and make bad mistakes... kind of like Ben did for us his rookie year, then they can win games with that defense..
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ravens plan for Willis McGahee

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Maybe its just me, but I think that the Ravens could be dangerous. They still have a very respectful defense dont ya think? I think that if they can get a QB that wont turn the ball over I think that they can win some games. McGahee is a nice back and he runs hard, but of course you got to have some help from the offense.
it's not just you.. i feel everyone in our divison has the potential to win at least 6 games... maybe even finish .500.

the ravens have always had a dominant defense at that figures to only continue with their CBs coming back healthy...

I also think the ravens have a good recieving options in demetrius williams (who burned us many, many, many times his rookie year), todd heap, derrick mason and mark clayton...

with willis mcgahee being the quick power back he is and musa smith spelling him once in a while the ravens are a dangerous team. that i personally am quite afraid of.
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