You think Saturday’s 31-24 loss to the Steelers hurt, Ravens fans?
Well just think about how the actual players felt after the Divisional loss to Pittsburgh, one of them being Ravens FB Le’Ron McClain, who joined Rex Snider on “The Afternoon Drive” Monday to offer not only his thoughts about the results, but where the free agent to be sees himself from this point.
“It’s a tough loss to them,” McClain told Snider. “Not saying they’re a better team than us, but the better team won that day. They made the plays to win the game there at the end, and that won them an AFC Championship.”
You could hear the anguish in McClain’s voice as not only he but everyone in Ravens nation knew they had the Steelers right where they wanted them in the first half, being up 21-7 at halftime.
“I’m still kind of exaggerated and ticked off about the game cause we had it being up 21-7 on the road and knowing that if we score one more time, we’d take them out of the game. But we didn’t get it done. I’m still kind of frustrated about that,” the Ravens fullback said.
But McClain-who often times can be a source of unwanted trash talk stemming from the Ravens locker room and sometimes gives the occasional bulletin board material-was quick to give credit and respect to his AFC North foes as a whole for the effort they put in regaining the lead in the second half.
We came out pretty much focused,” McClain said. “They turned it up a little bit and gave us some new looks and everything, and they made some plays. If we gave them the ball, that was their doing. It wasn’t everything we were doing.”
“We take pride in our job and we just didn’t get the job done. And that was all in one quarter. Even at the end, we still had a chance to win the ballgame. Like I said, Pittsburgh made the plays to win the game at the end.”
McClain especially felt like even he could have made a difference Saturday-as he has all season and in years past.
The overall impression WNST felt from our chat with McClain?
He felt helpless.
He felt like he could have done something, but his skills were not being put to good use.
McClain-since being drafted by Baltimore in the fourth round of the 2007 Draft out of Alabama-felt like he could have been used this season more in short yardage and goal-line situations much like he was used in the 2008 campaign where he was the team’s leading rusher with 902 yards and 10 TDs.
Or, at least blocking for Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, which never seemed to get going not only in the playoffs, but this year as a whole.
“I just want to be more involved,” McClain added. “I think I proved I could do that. I just want to be that short yardage back. I want to be that goal line back, that guy you need to go to. I will continue to block doing what I’ve doing, but I just want to be more involved. I had no control over that. I just want that chance and I felt like I didn’t get that.”
He has appeared in two Pro-Bowls and was named an alternate this year to Houston’s Vonta Leach.
McClain is scheduled to be a free agent and is able to sign with any team he should please when a new collective bargaining agreement is signed between the players and owners.
The Ravens in the past have seen their fullbacks in the past as expendable and not worth spending a long term contract on( Sam Gash, Alan Ricard, Ovie Mughelli, Lorenzo Neal).
Could McClain have played his last game as a Raven Saturday?
McClain said it hangs upon what happens in his life, with the Ravens, and the rest of the NFL as a whole.
“It all depends on the chance I get. I’m going to continue to work hard, day-in and day out and I’m just trying to get to that level…that championship level in my play.”
Hopefully, Ravens fans hope that Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens front office will pony up the money worth bringing the versatile McClain back in the fold.
McClain has been adamant so far this year that he wants to be in a situation where he is in a more active role in the offense than just a blocking back, but he did want to assure to Baltimore that he loves this town and this franchise and that returning in black and purple is definitely on his agenda.
“Just to clear that up, I would love to come back to Baltimore. I made this my home. I love the fans. I love the city. I love everything about it,” he said. “I love my teammates man, having guys like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed on your team and Derrick Mason being there.”
Finally, McClain said that he hopes Ravens fans don’t see him as selfish and that his antics in the past don’t reflect on his chances of returning to Baltimore.
But if his time as a Raven is done, he wants to be remembered for the hard work he put into the franchise for four seasons and helped spring backs like Ray Rice and Willis McGahee to Pro Bowl levels.
“I feel like I got put right back in the box,” McClain said of not being able to build on that 2008 season. “But I didn’t let it affect my game. I still came out here every week and played my heart out for the guys on the field, and tried to do the best I could. I would love to be back here playing football for Baltimore.”
WNST will continue to follow Le’Ron McClain even if his tenure in Baltimore comes to an end! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!
Follow Le’Ron on Twitter at @LeRonMcClain33