Monday, February 18, 2013
Baltimore's ILB outlook
By Tim Kavanagh
As the Baltimore Ravens attempt to replicate their success in 2013 with a slightly different cast of characters, one of the areas on which much attention will be paid is at inside linebacker.
As you might've heard one or 1,000 times during the postseason, Ray Lewis is retiring. Furthermore, Dannell Ellerbe's contract has expired, and he'll be hitting free agency unless the Ravens re-sign him prior to the start of the league year. As a result, this is going to put some pressure on Jameel McClain, a player who was a starter up until he suffered a spinal injury late in the 2012 in a game against the Washington Redskins. The good news is that McClain appears to be on the right track to be on the field in 2013.
"All is progressing well with Jameel," a source told Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. "The injury requires rest."
In his season-ending conference with reporters, Ravens HC John Harbaugh indicated that the team is "very optimistic" about McClain returning. But based upon the uncertainty therein -- as well as the departure of Lewis and potential departure of Ellerbe -- this could be a position where the Ravens make an investment in the draft this offseason.