Vince Mayle’s 2-yard touchdown run on his first touch of the season in Sunday’s 30-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders was a proud moment for the Ravens tight end. That it occurred against an opponent near his hometown of Sacramento, Calif., was especially pleasing.
“It was very meaningful,” he said Wednesday. “My whole family was there because I’m from California. I live about an hour away [from Oakland], and I was never a Raiders fan. … So it felt really good.”
Mayle said family members and friends who attended Sunday’s game were conflicted afterward.
“A lot of my family and friends were like, ‘Dang, I’m very happy you scored, but why did you have to score this week?’ ” he recalled. “I was telling them, ‘This is the best week to score.’ ”
Mayle’s run across the back of the offensive line and off left tackle was reminiscent of his time at Inderkum High School, where he was a running back in that team’s Wing-T offense. He joked that he knew he was going to get the ball as soon as running back Buck Allen was stopped at the Raiders’ 2-yard line.
“I was ready for the play,” Mayle, 26, said. “I was actually glad that Buck didn’t score because I knew we were going to run the play next. I was like, ‘We’re going to run it.’ I was walking on the field before they called it, thinking, ‘This is it.’ ”
Several members of the offensive line mobbed 6-foot-2, 247-pound Mayle in the end zone, and coach John Harbaugh said that display was no accident.
“They were happy for him,” Harbaugh said. “Vince is a serious dude. He takes it seriously. Sometimes I’ve got to jab him a little bit to get him to crack a smile, but he was all smiles after that. We had him in the game plan. He was in there for some other things. He acts as a decoy in a run that we had that worked out really well. He blocked well. He did a good job. He played well.”
Mayle has yet to catch a pass this season as he is buried on the depth chart behind starter Benjamin Watson and backups Nick Boyle and Maxx Williams. But Mayle said he is content to deepen his learning curve behind Watson.
“I know where I stand right now,” he said. “I’m still learning the position. So I’m OK with learning behind Ben. He’s a really good guy to learn behind.”