Fantasy, reality and fish

Q&a Le'ron Mcclain

October 08, 2008|By EDWARD LEE

Before the season began, did you ever think you would be leading the team in touchdowns?

No. That was all the way in the back of my mind, but it's a blessing. I'm just trying to contribute as a good tailback. Whatever I can do to help the team.

How does it feel to be one of the most sought-after players in fantasy football?

I saw it when I was in the cold tub one morning. They were talking about it on TV, saying that I'm a good pick[up]. But I don't really understand the fantasy league thing. But it feels real good to see that. I just hope that I continue to get better each week.

How much did it pain you not to beat Auburn in your four years at Alabama?

It was crazy. In my sophomore year, we had a lead at halftime [6-0], and we should've beat them. In my senior year, we had a lead in the third quarter [15-14] and they threw a pass to go up five points and that killed us. It was rough for me, and now I've got to hear it from [left guard] Ben Grubbs every time the game comes around.

Would you rather have a Super Bowl ring or a Hall of Fame bust?

Super Bowl ring. I never won a championship in high school. I got to the semifinals before losing two years straight. In college, my junior year, we were ranked No. 3 in the nation and then dropped the second-to-last game in the regular season to LSU [16-13 in overtime]. That hurt. So I just really want to win and be part of a team known as the best team, period.

Is it true that you would rather deliver a pancake block on an opponent than score a touchdown?

I don't know about that, but I like to take a man's pride. When he gets back up, he's all big-eyed, doesn't know what to say, and looking around trying to see if anybody saw it. Then the next play when you come at him, he's dodging you and trying to jump around, and that makes your blocks easier. That's where it starts. You want to get into that guy early, and by the fourth quarter, he doesn't want any more.

Who's the toughest linebacker you've had to block?

I'd say Patrick Willis from San Francisco. He plays tough. He's got good leverage and he's strong. I remember going against him at Ole Miss when I was at Alabama. He's a great linebacker.

You stayed for four years at Alabama. Any regrets?

I was thinking about it [leaving early]. We were at the Cotton Bowl my junior year, and it was just me, my running backs coach and head coach talking every day after practice about what I needed to do, the people I could talk to after the bowl game. But Alabama is a great place to be with a great tradition, great campus life. I just wanted to stay one more year and try to win. It didn't go the way I wanted it to, but I don't regret any of it. I came out and was the first true fullback taken by the Ravens, so everything speaks for itself now.

What's the best nickname you've had? And the worst?

They called me "L-Train McClain" in high school. When I was running the ball, they would have the train whistle going. So that was pretty cool. My worst was "Moody," which my momma used to call me when I was little. I was just mad all the time, and when I couldn't get my way, she would just call me "Moody." She still calls me that a little bit.

What can you tell me about this annual fishing contest between Ravens players?

I haven't won yet. But it's great to go out there on boats and compete and see who can catch the most fish and the biggest fish. We go out to the Chesapeake Bay, and [center] Jason Brown sets everything up for everybody. I've still got to learn.

Who is the best fisherman?

[Rookie offensive tackle] David Hale. I think he caught the most fish and the biggest fish this year. I caught a brim [also referred to as a bluegill]. It's very, very small. About 5 inches. But I ate it, though. It was very good.

EDWARD LEE

ABOUT THIS SERIES

Each Wednesday we'll bring you a Q&A with a Ravens player to help you learn a little more about the team. The fourth subject of this series is fullback Le'Ron McClain, who leads the team in touchdowns with four. McClain, the organization's second pick in the fourth round of last year's draft, discusses throwing blocks, catching fish and following fantasy football.

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