Four years ago, when
In his second season, McClain moved to inside linebacker and eventually become a starter alongside Lewis in the middle in 2010. He has since started 36 out of a possible 38 games, including postseason, at the position.
But backup linebackers
There was a subtle change of (game) plans last weekend.
In a 24-23 loss to the
"It's something I did in college," he said. "It's a learning curve. It's something I've got to get back used to if I ever get the opportunity again. But I got the chance and I hope the coaches believe I made the best out of it. With more opportunity, it's a lot more things I can do. At the end of the day, you've got to believe in yourself."
McClain, who was listed at 6-foot-1 and 256 pounds on Syracuse's website, got experience playing defensive end for the Orange. In his junior season, he led the
“He originally was an outside linebacker and he could have played the position, but the coaches thought it was a better fit, as to what we needed, at defensive end,” said Ravens defensive end
Jones, of course, is referring to the three-year, $10.5 million dollar contract the Ravens awarded McClain with this offseason after they let him dip his toes into the lukewarm waters of free agency. (McClain has said he was frustrated by the market for inside linebackers developing so slowly.) The Ravens had a dozen unrestricted free agents, including
The Ravens have turned to
Maybe the Ravens saw it as an opportunity to take advantage of McClain’s versatility and get him on the field more often. Or McClain moonlighting over at outside linebacker might have just been a one-time deal. Ravens coach
"I think it would speak to our depth," Harbaugh said. "You want to make sure you have your answers in case you get injuries."