Willis McGahee chuckled at a question asking whether he might have been held out of action in the Ravens' 23-20 loss to the Patriots because he was being punished for some rules violation the team is trying to keep quiet.
"Where is everyone getting this punishment thing from?" McGahee said. "You all think I'm this bad guy who did something wrong? I was on time for everything. I went to every meeting. ... There was no punishment. Not that I know of. I didn't do anything wrong. I hope it wasn't a punishment."
McGahee said he didn't have any real insight into why he played zero plays for the first time in his Ravens career. A 17-7 loss to the Bengals in 2009 was the only previous game for Baltimore in which McGahee was healthy, but didn't have a single carry. But McGahee did play two series in that game. Against the Patriots, he didn't even step on the field.
Did McGahee think he was about to be traded?
"I don't know. That's been going on for like a year and a half," McGahee said. "It is what it is. I can't do nothing about it. [My agent] told me he'd let me now if anything was going to happen. But I wasn't sitting by the phone or anything. I wasn't watching ESPN. I was playing video games. I went [and] bought me a new Spiderman game."
McGahee reiterated that he's not unhappy, even though he would like to play more. He shrugged his shoulders when asked if the Ravens gave him any assurances that he'd play more the rest of the season.
"I'm just sitting back and waiting for my number to be called," he said. "When my number is called, that's when I step up. I've got a light switch. I can turn it on and turn it off. I look at it like this: Time is on my side. Certain people didn't think I would even make it to the NFL. Now I'm in my eighth year. The past two years are just extending the end of my career. I'm not taking a pounding, and my body is going to hold up a lot longer than I originally expected it to."
McGahee said he doesn't have any additional motivation to play this week against the Bills, the team he spent four years with before he was traded to the Ravens. Despite some comments he made after leaving Buffalo, he said he still has warm feelings for the city.
"Buffalo is actually very nice," McGahee said. "I had fun there."
It'll be interesting to see what kind of homecoming Dwan Edwards receives Sunday, when he returns to play at M&T Bank Stadium.
Edwards, a former Ravens defensive end who signed with the Buffalo Bills this offseason, created a stir in July when the defensive end compared Buffalo to Baltimore.
"People are very friendly out in Buffalo. I've noticed that more than anything. It kind of reminds me of home," Edwards told his hometown paper, The Billings Gazette. "It's definitely not like Baltimore.
"People are very friendly. They have diehard fans out there [in Buffalo]. They're ready for a winner and I hope we can deliver."
On a conference call with Baltimore reporters, Edwards wanted to clarify his comments.
"By no means does that mean people aren't friendly in Baltimore because I've had that quote turn against me," Edwards said Wednesday.
"I was just trying to say, 'I'm a Montana guy.' Buffalo is a little bit more like Montana. It's not a huge city, or at least where I live in the suburbs here. It's just a little more rural, I guess. That's all I was saying. It's just a little more like Montana."
Edwards was the first pick in the Ravens' 2004 NFL draft. He is third on the Bills in tackles this season. He said he's still happy with his decision to leave the Ravens in free agency, which offered him a chance to start and a more lucrative contract.
"I don't have any regrets," Edwards said. "I learned a ton [in Baltimore] about being a professional. It was a good experience."
He said he believes he's a much better player now that he was when he came into the NFL, and credits his Ravens experience for some of that development.
"I'm able to play a lot faster then when I first came in [to the NFL]," Edwards said. "I know how to train in the off-season, how to get in shape and stuff. I don't think you can know that when you first come in. I know how to take care of my body and understand the game a lot better."
Ayanbadejo almost back
It's been a long, frustrating recovery for Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who is eligible to come off the physically-unable-to-perform list this week. It's unclear whether the Ravens will activate him for Sunday's game against the Bills, which would require a bit of roster maneuvering.
But he may finally be healthy at just the right time. The Ravens' special teams have been inconsistent this year, especially of late, and Ayanbadejo — at least prior to his torn quadriceps injury four games into the 2009 season — was one of the best special teams players in the game.
But Ayanbadejo isn't quite ready to celebrate just yet.