Funny thing about former Baltimore Ravens linebacker and new big free agent pickup for the Miami Dolphins Danelle Ellerbe, he started out as a backup last year. Who did Ellerbe backup you ask? Dancing Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain. McClain is not a very big name outside of Baltimore, but it has to be said that he was good enough to get the starting job over Ellerbe. Now of course the Dolphins stupidly overpaid for Ellerbe, but we can all see the point I’m trying to make.
McClain actually started with Ellerbe when Ray Lewis tore his triceps. Later in the season McClain suffered a dangerous spinal contusion which kept him out for the rest of the season. Assuming McClain comes back completely healthy, then he’s projected to be one of the starting inside linebackers. I have McClain starting with rookie Arthur Brown, which you can see along with the rest of my Ravens depth chart predictions by clicking this link.
Anybody who doesn’t know much about McClain I can sum him up with a little celebrity comparison, Steve Guttenberg. Yes, Steve Guttenberg I said. Guttenberg can have his moments, but for the most part he doesn’t really stand out or pop out off of your TV screen when you watch. He’s reliable, solid, and McClain is the same way on the field. He’s a solid tackler, he can get a sack or interception every once and while, and he’s just sort of there. With 53 men on an NFL roster, not every single one of them is going to be a superstar, but if you can be solid and reliable then that’s pretty good as far as I’m concerned.
McClain is on schedule to be able to start Week 1 according to USA TODAY Sports, and you can read their story about it here. Hopefully there are no setbacks in the recovery. Assuming McClain stays healthy for most of the season I’m seeing a stat line that looks a little like 91 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 INT. Until next time my friends.