McGahee likely to be a Raven in 2010

Harbaugh says he could see him as Ravens' primary rusher

February 28, 2010|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | kevin.vanvalkenburg@baltsun.com

INDIANAPOLIS — - Ravens coach John Harbaugh more or less put an end to speculation about Willis McGahee's future in Baltimore next season, saying the running back will be a Raven in the 2010 season, even though he'll make $3.6 million and is coming off a year in which he rushed for only 544 yards and averaged only 6.8 carries a game. "I think McGahee will be on our team next year," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh even went so far as to say McGahee could become the Ravens' primary ball carrier again because he doesn't necessarily see Ray Rice as the starter and McGahee as the backup.

"I've never said that Ray Rice is the starter," Harbaugh said. "I know other people have said that. Maybe even my coaches have said that. But to me, the starting running back is the guy who is going to start next week, and it's the guy who is playing the best. I've told Willis: 'You want to start the game? You be the best running back that week.' And Ray knows that. Willis McGahee could run for 1,500 yards next year, easy."

Rice rushed for 1,339 yards and ran for seven touchdowns in 2009, and he also caught 78 passes for 702 yards. But McGahee scored 14 touchdowns.

Reed could return, still
Harbaugh also reiterated his belief that Ravens safety Ed Reed will be back for the 2010 season, even though the nine-year veteran and six-time Pro Bowl selection has said he might retire because of lingering injuries to his neck and hip.

"Ed Reed is playing, as far as I know," Harbaugh said. "I think Ed is one of the greatest competitors in football. You talk about guys who play like a Raven, right, who love football, love everything about football, that's Ed Reed. I've said I think Ed's going to play because I think Ed's going to do everything he can to play. If he's physically able to play, he will play."

Reed had 50 tackles and three interceptions this past season, but he missed four games late in the year with groin and hip injuries. He recently told the NFL Network that the nerve impingement in his neck has gotten worse.

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