Ravens add all-pro Leach after lockout but many familiar faces gone
Heap and McGahee have signed elsewhere, and it appears as if McClain will leave, too. The Ravens hope the 37-year-old Mason will be back, but there is no guarantee.
No longer will the home fans yell "HEEEEAP!" after the veteran tight end makes a catch. As it stands now, Boldin will be joined by second-year tight end Ed Dickson and rookie Torrey Smith as quarterback Joe Flacco's main targets.
The offensive line has changed, too. Chester and Jared Gaither are out. Marshal Yanda has moved to right guard and 330-pound rookie Jah Reid is working with the first team at right tackle.
Regardless of how Reid fares, the running game should be better with Leach in front of Rice. McClain did a decent job last year, but he kept harping about how he wanted to run the ball.
Leach, signed as a free agent on Sunday, is solely an escort. That was his job last year in Houston, where he helped Arian Foster amass an NFL-leading 1,616 yards rushing.
"He's an amazing fullback," Rice said of Leach. "He lays the wood on people. Everybody knows his reputation, and I just can't wait to follow him. I could probably trip and get 5 yards running behind him. He's all about business and hard work."
Leach arrived in Baltimore late Monday afternoon and is expected to practice for the first time Tuesday. Running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery can't wait to get started.
"He is more of a fullback mold. Le'Ron is a two-day guy," Montgomery said. "Vonta is going to attack, attack, attack. It's nice to have him in this division."
When the Ravens face the Steelers in the Sept. 11 opener, Montgomery will be counting on Leach to bowl over anyone wearing black and gold.
"You know what? When you bring a guy into the fold like that, the teams in your division pay attention to it," Montgomery said. "Because now it makes it that much harder for them to stop the running game."
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