McGahee on mend, in doghouse

OWINGS MILLS — Although Baltimore Ravens veteran running back Willis McGahee returned to practice Tuesday after skipping a voluntary minicamp a week ago, he has not regained his starting job. Instead, McGahee spent the majority of the practice with the second team while Ray Rice lined up with the starters.

It's evident that McGahee still needs to prove himself to a coaching staff that grew frustrated with him last season after he admittedly reported to training camp out of shape.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh issued a terse reply when asked about McGahee's progress.

"I don't know," Harbaugh said. "I have no idea where he's at. It's the first day he's been here in a week and a half. I can't gauge it."

This marked the first time McGahee has been out of a red jersey during offseason practices following arthroscopic knee surgery, signifying that the former Pro Bowl runner has improved medically.

McGahee wasn't in the locker room after practice to conduct an interview.

McGahee, who rushed for a career-low 671 yards last season, seemed a bit hesitant and rusty during drills. It looked like he was able to to run and cut without pain.

"Yeah, well, Willis showed up to see if he can do something for the team," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "We all expect him to be here and expect him to do a good job when he's here."

FIGURS OUT: Return specialist and wide receiver Yamon Figurs underwent surgery to repair a foot injury where the bones separated and will be out until training camp.

"They had to put a screw in it and reattach the bones," Harbaugh said. "He'll be 100 percent by the start of training camp."

COMPETING QBS: Although Troy Smith and John Beck are slated to compete for the primary backup job behind Flacco, Smith currently ranks ahead on the depth chart.

"Who's going to be a backup quarterback? Who's going to be the third guy?" Harbaugh said. "It could be even game to game, based on game plan, or who we're playing or whatever. But right now if we're going to say what the order was, it's Joe, it's Troy, then it's John. And that's how it's shaken out so far."

EXPANDED ROLES CAMP: As the Ravens conducted a minicamp where players lined up at several different positions, Harbaugh told players over age 30 that they didn't need to attend.

So, several starters as well as unsigned franchise player Terrell Suggs didn't practice, including linebackers Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson, defensive linemen Kelly Gregg, Trevor Pryce and Haloti Ngata, tight end Todd Heap, center Matt Birk, wide receivers Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton and cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth and Fabian Washing ton.

"Some of those guys showed up anyway, but we really didn't want those guys here," said Harbaugh, noting that Birk will return today. "We wanted the younger guys here working on the opportunity to expand what they do, get more reps, play some different positions and that's what we've gotten."

JONES RELIEVED: The Ravens are already hurting at tight end, and the situation almost got even worse when Edgar Jones' left knee got smashed into by cornerback Evan Oglesby in a helmet-first tackle.

Jones wasn't injured, though, just banged up. He got up after several minutes on the ground in obvious pain, returning to rush the passer at his old defensive position with no apparent limitations.

"I knew it wasn't serious," Jones said. "I took a hit on the knee cap and felt some sharp pain, but I'm fine."

Jones felt at home playing on defense again, where he made the team as an undrafted free agent outside linebacker-defensive end.

"The first rep felt a little bit different," Jones said. "By the second or third rep, it felt like second nature."

QUICK HIT: Flacco joined the chorus of people praising Orioles rookie catcher Matt Weiters. ""He's obviously going to be a very good player," Flacco said. "He's a big guy who can hit from both sides of the plate. They're getting 30,000-40,000 people, so he's drawing some interest."


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