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Ravens running back Willis McGahee came into training camp looking lean and fit, but he said he is the heaviest he’s ever been.
McGahee said he is slightly over 240 pounds, up from his typical playing weight of 230 to 235 pounds.
An offseason of hard training and dedication to the weight room bulked him up with muscle he can’t just immediately work off.
“I like it,” McGahee explained. “I’m moving with it. It’s not holding me down. I felt like when I came in lighter, that’s when I was getting the injuries. I’ll just go with the flow now and keep it up.”
Two years ago, he missed most of the preseason because of an arthoscopic procedure on his knee. McGahee then finished with 671 rushing yards and only eight starts.
Last year, McGahee was healthy and completed a full camp. That set the stage for a very productive 2009 campaign, as he scored a franchise-record-tying 14 touchdowns despite backing up Ray Rice.
McGahee feels healthy again – and even moreso this year because of the added muscle.
“I’m where I want to be, but I’ll just keep getting better,” he said.
McGahee has already stood out over the first few training camp practices. The speed and sharp cuts are evident.
McGahee’s toughness showed up on Friday, when he caught a pass in the morning practice and was drilled by safety Dawan Landry, splitting his lip and causing the blood to flow.
The eighth-year veteran left the field for that session, but returned to the afternoon practice.
“I could have sat out yesterday, but I didn’t,” explained McGahee. “I sat out enough in training camps, so I wanted to get back out there.
“It’s just part of the game, you can’t do nothing about it.”
McGahee is now focusing on limiting his mistakes. He was kicking himself on Saturday for losing a fumble that safety Haruki Nakamura recovered.
“I’m trying to come into camp and not make as many mistakes as I did last year,” he stated. “I have to see how training camp goes before I set my goals for the season.”
Could one of those goals mean surpassing Rice for the starting spot?
“They’re going to choose who they want to start,” McGahee said. “As long as I play, it’s all good.”