McGahee ready for increased workload

Posted Sep 27, 2013

With a full week of work in the books, Cleveland Browns running back Willis McGahee is ready to make an impact for the offense.

Practice makes perfect.

And for Cleveland Browns running back Willis McGahee, having a full week of practice with his new teammates has the 11-year veteran feeling confident he will improve on the nine yards on eight carries he had for the team in last Sunday’s  31-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, two days after he was signed.

“It makes a big difference because we were going through walk-through today, and I was communicating with the coaches and everything,” McGahee said. “It just takes time. It would’ve been great if I could go out there and did my thing last week, but we got the ‘W,’ and that’s all that counts.

“I’m going to go out there and play. We’ve got a lot of young guys. I’m not the big talker. I’ve just got to go out there and lead by example, and I think once they see I’m not going to go down on the first hit, things like that, they can feed off of that and go from there.”

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner share McGahee’s opinion that another week of practice together will help the first-year Brown, as well as running back Bobby Rainey and fullback Chris Ogbonnaya.

“I expect he will improve and has improved,” Chudzinski said. “Just getting back out there and playing again, just from a physical standpoint, getting back into it has been good for him. I think he’ll continue to keep improving. Mentally, again, he’s familiar with the system and the terminology, so that really hasn’t been an issue at all.”

Turner added, “We’ve got three guys, and we’ve got to use them all. Willis got here a week ago, and Rainey got here three weeks ago, and Obie is a fullback, tailback, special-teams guy. We’re managing that the best we can. No question, we want to run the ball. If you don’t have balance, it’s going to get you in the end, and we’re working hard at that.”

Against the Vikings, the Browns completed 31 of 55 attempts for 332 yards and three touchdowns, and managed 103 yards on 17 carries. After a second week of work with the offensive linemen within the Browns’ scheme, McGahee feels it is a matter of time before the run game makes a big impact.

“There’s going to be a dramatic improvement,” McGahee said. “We’re going to have more than eight yards. Don’t worry about that. It’s me getting familiar with the guys, learning how they do things, how they attack and handle certain situations.

“That’s when the run game has to come alive. It’s going to come alive. The coaches have faith in us. We’re still working. It’s a work in progress, but, at the end of the day, we’re going to get it done because we’re professionals.

“Something will pop. I don’t know what it is, touchdowns or the yards. Either one. The big thing with us right now is to keep working together and don’t give up the fight and get this ‘W.’ If we get this ‘W,’ when we get this ‘W,’ it’s going to change things around here.”

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