I don't want to bury Le'Ron McClain, because I definitely liked him as a person, but I think Leach is a much better fit with the Ravens this year. He doesn't care about getting the ball, he just wants to bend someone's facemask and create space for Rice, and that's invaluable. Do me a favor and watch him in short yardage next time the Ravens are playing. He just destroys linebackers.
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5. The Ravens probably won't miss Domonique Foxworth too much this year on the field, but it was shameful the way some Ravens fans celebrated the decision to put him on injured reserve.
I'm still not sure what to expect out of Cary Williams this year, but at times, he does look like he can be solid player. He didn't play well against Tennessee, but he has improved the last two weeks. Who knows how long Chris Carr's hamstring injury might linger, or when Jimmy Smith's ankle will be 100 percent, so one way or another, the Ravens are going to need Williams to play a big role.
But let's close this week's Five Things with a brief comment about Foxworth. I haven't spoken to him since the Ravens decided to shelve him for the year, but I can almost guarantee he's heartbroken. I still can't quite understand why the Ravens didn't put him on the PUP to start the year. It didn't make a lot of sense at the time, and it makes even less sense now looking back. I would be stunned if he's back with the Ravens next year.
The vitriol spewed at Foxworth, however, was really disheartening. If you were one of those people who called him "Foxworthless" and blamed him for the Ravens losing Josh Wilson, or called him the worst signing in Ravens history, then do me a favor and don't bother reading this column ever again. I'm serious.
Foxworth is one of the most honest, stand-up guys I've ever met, and he personally sacrificed a lot this year to help iron out the current labor agreement. He knew negotiations were making it difficult for him to properly rehab his knee, and that it might jeopardize his NFL career, but he also knew there was a bigger picture that was important.
I asked him once why getting involved with with the Players Union was so important to him, and he said it was because he really admired players who put the greater interests of the game ahead of their own. People always complain that NFL players these days are too aloof, and the don't hang out in their communities anymore and they don't care about anything beyond their next contract. Fans long for the days when you could bump into John Unitas at Club 4100 and buy him a drink. Well, Foxworth was one of the few players who you really could bump into at the mall and have a conversation with. (I know because I did.) Being a part of Baltimore actually matters to him.
Did the Ravens overpay him when he signed a $28 million contract three years ago? Of course they did. The market for corners was thin that year, and the Ravens took a chance he was about to blossom into a good player. He got off to a shaky start, but played well in the second half of the year in 2009. I'm surprised how many people forget the pass he picked off and returned for a touchdown against the Steelers late in the year. (Terrell Suggs clipped 25 yards behind the play, negating the score but not the pick, which is why I guess people are able to say Foxworth never made a single play with the Ravens.)
His knee injury, however, made it difficult to evaluate him beyond that. Cutting him, by the way, would not have meant the Ravens could have kept Josh Wilson. It just would have meant the portion of Foxworth's signing bonus slated to count against the 2012 cap would have been accelerated to count against the 2011 cap. So if you blame him for the Ravens losing Wilson, you need to have a better grasp of how the salary cap works. The Ravens could have saved some money, but not enough to keep Wilson.
I don't know if he'll ever get back to 100 percent, but I wish the Ravens would have been realistic about how to use him this year instead of putting him on Kenny Britt in single coverage. Foxworth, though, understands the NFL is about results, not what kind of guy you are, so I'm sure he'll be at peace with whatever comes next. If you're one of those people who dropped the phrase "Foxworthless," well, enjoy the next 10 years of prosperity that the NFL is about to enter. That may be his parting gift to the Ravens. Nothing worthless, not in the least, about that.