OWINGS MILLS — As much satisfaction as Le’Ron McClain got out of blocking for Ray Rice for the past few seasons, the two-time Pro Bowl fullback wanted to be a lot more involved in the Baltimore Ravens’ offense.
And not touching the football nearly as much as he wanted could complicate McClain’s decision on whether he’ll return.
"It’s a great fit blocking in this offense, if that’s all you want to do every week," McClain told Ravens24x7.com in a telephone interview. "When you feel like you can give a lot more and have proven you can do a lot more and all you’re doing is blocking, it’s a little frustrating at times when they’re telling you, ‘All you got to do is go block this guy.’ But I never let it get to me. I take pride in my game.
"I gave it my all. With all my heart and might and will, I blocked for Ray Rice. My frustration comes from wanting to do more. When we lost that game against Pittsburgh in the playoffs to not even get one attempt, it was pretty frustrating."
McClain rushed for a career-high 902 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2008 season.
Last season, though, McClain rushed for 85 yards and no touchdowns on 28 carries and caught 21 passes for 134 yards and no scores.
McClain said he never lobbied offensive coordinator Cam Cameron for an increased role.
"I haven’t talked to Cam," McClain said. "I shy away from that. Looking back on it, I just wish I could have done more. If I could just have seven or eight touches, that would be great. A couple years ago, everybody touched the ball."
McClain recently traveled to Atlanta to huddle with his agent, Todd France, about his outlook.
They spent a lot of time discussing the unresolved collective bargaining agreement situation and whether McClain will be classified as a restricted free agent again or be declared an unrestricted free agent for the first time. McClain played last season under a $2.396 million restricted tender.
"We pretty much just sat down and conversated," McClain said. "Todd gave me a real understanding thing about the CBA and free agency and what I need to do to be prepared for what’s taking place. We didn’t talk about no other teams or about Baltimore. We just talked about me and focused on the free agency period and getting prepared for that.
"I’m wondering where I’m going to land. I really want to know what guys I’m going to be playing with. I hope it’s with the Ravens. I understand it’s a business. They’re going to look out for the team. I’ve got to look out for what’s best for Le’Ron McClain."
McClain said he wasn’t bothered by the Ravens’ decision to recently re-sign veteran fullback Jason McKie to a one-year, $765,000 deal.
McKie was signed last season when McClain sprained his ankle, but wound up appearing in no games. He was cut prior to the Ravens’ playoff loss to the Steelers.
"Oh man, when they cut him I was surprised," McClain said. "I’m still learning stuff from him. He’s a nine-year vet and to have older guys like that around it makes my day go better. I can talk to a guy who goes through the same thing I’m going through. He can relate to me. I’m glad they signed him back. Hopefully, I can be in there behind him running and blocking with him."
McClain is in Los Angeles this weekend to attend the NBA all-star game and surrounding festivities, including walking the red carpet at various VIP events.
"I’m doing all of that," McClain said. "I’m looking forward to getting away from it. We had a long season, so it’s time to get away from it and get your mind off of it. I have some other stuff going on, so I can venture out and then get back to work."
McClain has started an entertainment company based out of Tuscaloosa, Ala., primarily involving music.
"I have a few artists," McClain said. "This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m not no rapper or singer. I just do my thing. I’m watching over these guys. There are bigger companies, but we’re going to get their music out there.
"I’m also working with my foundation, Learning Minds, with inner-city youth in my city in Tuscaloosa. I’ve got my website going (www.leronmcclain33.com) and I’m on Twitter (@LeronMcClain33). I just want to get that name of Le’Ron McClain out there to the world. Baltimore has got a bruising fullback, but I want to put a face on it."