By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
8:16 PM EDT, May 31, 2013
Once inside linebacker Jameel McClain gains full medical clearance, his old starting job awaits him.
As McClain works his way back from a spinal cord contusion sustained last December against the Washington Redskins, Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said he's holding his position for him.
Following an offseason where middle linebacker Ray Lewis retired and Dannell Ellerbe signed a $35 million contract with the Miami Dolphins, the Ravens are banking on McClain getting back on the field.
“We definitely want Jameel out there," Pees said Friday following an organized team activity. "It’s very critical from the standpoint of he’s our leadership out there. He’s been in there and run the show when Ray was out.
"He’s kind of the only veteran inside guy that we really have in there. So, we really want to get him back. When he comes back, he will be a starter. It will be his job to lose and we’ll go from there.”
McClain is upbeat about his medical outlook and has no restrictions on his exercise regimen.
He has been taking part in individual drills, but is not allowed to participate in full-team work yet.
"I'm doing good, I'm doing great," McClain recently told The Baltimore Sun. "I'm running around full speed, working out, lifting weights with no problems, nothing on my end. I can do everything. Everything is positive on my end."
When asked if he's confident that he'll be able to resume his career after getting hurt last season against the Washington Redskins, McClain replied: "If you don't believe in yourself, who else will? Fortunately, this is a good situation for me. Everything is going the way it should."