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Albert McClellan Quietly Impressing

Posted Aug 4, 2012

The second-year linebacker is off to a good start in training camp.

With all the storylines at the start of training camp – Bryant McKinnie’s absence, Joe Flacco playing great, players trying to step in for Terrell Suggs, and Ray Rice’s new contract – Albert McClellan has kept a relatively low profile.

And he has no problem with that.

“I’ve always been that guy who is kind of bashful and kind of shy, so that fits me as an individual,” McClellan said after Friday’s practice.

The third-year linebacker is letting his play speak for him.

McClellan is hoping to take on a larger defensive role this season and is competing with Paul Kruger for a starting outside linebacker spot. He has not generated much buzz in the media, but the coaching staff has said on numerous occasions that he’s off to an impressive start.

“That guy, really, I think has had a real good camp so far,” Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said. “It’s early, but he’s had a good camp.”

McClellan primarily played special teams last year, but did get defensive action in seven games. His biggest performance came when he started for injured linebacker Ray Lewis on Thanksgiving Day against San Francisco. McClellan registered four tackles and helped lead the Ravens to a 16-6 victory.

He came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Marshall, and spent the 2010 season on the Ravens practice squad.

At 6-foot-2, 255 pounds, McClellan is built to play a number of different positions. He was a defensive end in college, but during his time with the Ravens he has played inside and outside linebackers, as well as special teams.

“Albert is very versatile,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “The more you can do in our whole system, the better off you are going to be. Albert can play a lot of positions because he is so smart.”

In addition to competing with Kruger for a starting job, McClellan will challenge Sergio Kindle and rookie Courtney Upshaw for playing time. And if one of the inside linebackers like Lewis or Jameel McClain were to go down with an injury, McClellan has shown he is capable of filling in for them.

Wherever he ends up playing, McClellan’s focus right now is to keep performing at a high level in practice and continue to work his way up.

“I’m looking at it as an opportunity,” he said. “I’m just taking every chance that I get. I’m not going to turn down anything and I’m going to take on as much as I can handle."

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