Proclaiming himself healthy again following arthroscopic knee surgery that severely limited his workload during the offseason, the former Pro Bowl runner expects to begin training camp behind Rice on the depth chart.
“I’m pretty sure Ray is going to be the guy when we start out, but it’s training camp,” McGahee said during an interview today in downtown Baltimore. “It’s a long season. No pressure. Like I say, it’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.”
For McGahee, starting is something he had grown accustomed to after gaining 1,207 yards and scoring seven touchdowns during his first season in Baltimore in 2007 following a trade from the Buffalo Bills.
However, McGahee was hampered by injuries to his knee, ribs and eyes last season and rushed for a career-low 671 yards. Then, he was knocked out by Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark during the AFC championship game.
Healthy again, McGahee is hoping to prove himself all over again.
“I’ve got a lot of doubters out there,” McGahee said. “It’s going to be fun. It’s about me proving that I can be Willis McGahee. Yeah, they’re sleeping on me, but I want them to sleep on me.
“I just want to show them. They’ve been counting me out since Day 1, since I got into the league. What’s another day? Let them keep counting me out.”
During minicamps, McGahee said that his relationship with the coaching staff has improved. The former University of Miami star drew criticism last season for admittedly not showing up to training camp in optimum condition and not being up to speed on the playbook initially.
McGahee said that he’s going to report to training camp Monday along with the rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans in need of some extra work.
“It’s right around the corner,” McGahee said. “I’ve got to be there Monday. I was selected. It’s no pressure. You go in there and have to be a professional about things.”
Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron remains committed to a committee approach in the backfield that will utilize McCahee, Rice and Pro Bowl fullback Le’Ron McClain.