NFL Running Back Ovie Mughelli Ready to Explode - page 2

By Jeff Ferrantino on November 30, 2006

Ovie MughelliThat chance finally came about for Mughelli starting with the November 5 game against the Bengals. In recent weeks, he has become a much bigger contributor to the Ravens' offense, and unlike so many others who don't answer when an opportunity comes knocking, Mughelli wasn't going to let this one pass on by.

"I wouldn't dare not take advantage of the moment, because I've been asking coach for the longest time," says Mughelli. "When they gave me that chance, there was no way that I was going to misuse it. I was going to take full advantage of it."

In his second game of being a more vital part of the Ravens' offense, Mughelli scored the first touchdown of his four-year NFL career, taking a swing pass from quarterback Steve McNair 30 yards into the end zone in the second quarter to launch a comeback from a 26-7 deficit. His score was the first of the Ravens' 20 unanswered points in a thrilling 27-26 victory.

"I saw that end zone and there was nothing, and I mean nothing, that was going to keep me from getting there," he says. "It was right after a real good friend of mine, Musa Smith, got hurt. I remember being in the huddle saying, 'Alright guys, they just got Musa, we've got to show these guys that they aren't going to take out any more of us.' I was trying to get everybody pumped for us to go ahead and score, so we could show them that we weren't going to back down.

"That moment will go down in history as probably one of the most happiest moments of my life. I feel so bad because I'm always joking with people. Watch out for my first touchdown, I'm going to have a dance, it's going to be like five minutes. I'm going to have a cheerleader come over and do like a can-can! But I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't do anything. I just had this big goofy smile on my face. I was just so excited. It was very surreal."

In a matter of games, Mughelli has racked up more catches and carries than his career combined up to this point. In addition to spelling Lewis with a carry or two on occasion, Mughelli has proven to be a true threat as a receiver.

"I'm an overall athlete, that's been proven on special teams," he says. "On special teams, you have to be an athlete. Stop. Go. Tackle in the open spaces. To be able to fight off blockers, be a blocker, and just do it all."

League insiders have always known Mughelli's potential. At the Senior Bowl in January 2003, NFL scouts, general managers and coaches watched Mughelli pile-drive Michigan linebacker Cato June and Ohio State linebacker Matt Wilhelm during practice. He was quickly touted as the No. 1 prospect at fullback, a position that he takes great pride in.

"I love fullbacks," Mughelli says with pride. "They're all blue collar guys. I respect them because I know how I feel after every game. I often debate which position is the most physically demanding with our offensive linemen. They try to say them, but I say, no. They go maybe half a foot and hit each other. When we hit a linebacker, we get a running start."

Guys like Mike Alstott, Lorenzo Neal and Sam Gash are some of the fullbacks that Mughelli says he admires the most.

"They've shown that they can do it all and that they're not one-dimensional," he explains. "They can catch, they can run, they can block, and most of all, they're physical. They're known as the enforcers on the team."