Atlanta Falcons and former Baltimore Ravens fullback Ovie Mughelli knows that Thursday’s match up in prime-time between his two NFL teams is going to be a hard-hitting game.
Mughelli joined “The Afternoon Drive” with Rex Snider Wednesday afternoon to chat about his old team in the Ravens, and his team that he has been with in his fourth season in a Falcon uniform.
“I’m impressed,” Mughelli told Snider. “I always watch the Ravens since they are my old team and a fun team to watch. To see them go out week in and week out and dominate the teams they play, and squeeze out some tough games showing people that Baltimore toughness they are known for, it’s fun to watch.”
But Mughelli is ready to reciprocate that toughness right back at the Ravens in an attempt to get Falcons running back Michael Turner going.
“I’m excited for the challenge and I’m excited to show them what we do here in Atlanta,” he said.
Mughelli was drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Wake Forest and was also a solid special teams performer.
He was at the time only the second Demon Deacon to be drafted into the NFL, and after finally seeing time at the fullback position, he began to succeed in the running game, helping the Ravens rush for 1,605 yards in 2005.
In 2006, Mughelli scored his first NFL touchdown and also helped Jamal Lewis rush for 1132 yards and nine TDs in Lewis’ last season in Baltimore.
His resume spoke for itself-so much so that Mughelli earned All-Pro honors in that season, so much so that the Falcons made Mughelli the richest fullback in the league at that time, as he signed a six-year deal worth 18 million dollars.
And now in Atlanta, he has quite the rapport going with running back Michael Turner, who he has helped spurt to back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in the last two years.
Right now, he and Turner are loving what they are doing.
“He had fun,” Mughelli said. “Coach always says you have fun when you win. You have fun when you execute. And we executed…we wanted to run down hill, and when everything is clicking like that and the offensive line is dominating the line of scrimmage. It’s what we did all season, and what we want to keep doing.”
Mughelli said that he has loved blocking for all the backs he has been in front of during the years and said each of them brings something different to the table.
“Definitely, blocking for Jamal and Chester, then Michael Turner, they all have different styles but Jamal and Mike are hard-nosed runners-both downhill runners- make someone miss, or run right through you or over you.”
Mughelli was big in the Falcons 27-21 victory over the Buccaneers Sunday in a battle for first place.
Mughelli helped Turner rush for 107 yards and two scores in the victory. The one thing he saw out of Sunday was that Tampa Bay was not the team they have been in recent years where a team could just walk over them.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not the team of last year,” Mughelli said. “They are a brand new team with new motivation. I don’t know if its heart or passion, or what has changed but you know they changed the right things and play hard and gave us a run for our money…they came to play.”
And he expects as much from the Ravens Thursday.
“Baltimore is definitely a physical and tough team,” Mughelli said. “It’s going to be a tough, physical game.”
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