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Offensive line sports a new – but old – look

Camp Notes Offensive line sports a new – but old – look

Posted in Camp Notes
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Bryant McKinnie may have served his time with the second-team offensive line.

McKinnie took over with the first offensive line as the team shifted players around to account for the loss of Bobbie Williams, who was given two days off by the team to reduce swelling in his ankle.

The Ravens replaced Williams with second-round pick Kelechi Osemele, who had been working as the starting right tackle the past few weeks. Moving Osemele to guard gave the Ravens the option Michael Oher back to right tackle, which would give McKinnie a shot at earning his starting spot back.

During the first quarter of the first preseason game against the Falcons, the Ravens offensive line struggled and definitely missed McKinnie’s ability to pick up the pass rush. Seeing quarterback Joe Flacco on his back multiple times in the quarter was cause for concern and helped reiterate the need for McKinnie to return to the position the Ravens paid him an additional $500,000 roster bonus to play.

When the Ravens host the Bengals to open the season, it’s figured that McKinnie will be the starting left tackle barring unforeseen circumstances. Even though Michael Oher has played decent at left tackle, if McKinnie is on the field, coach Harbaugh has already said he will only be playing as a left tackle.

Being forced to shift for Osemele isn’t necessarily a bad thing because playing behind a veteran like Bobbie Williams will give him his best chance to see the playing field.

Williams is heading into his 13th year and is clearly dealing with the lasting effects of the brutal wear the NFL has placed on his body. Even though Williams should be effective at guard, chances seem slim that he will be able to start and play all 16 games.

Even though this is a new look for the offensive line during training camp, with the exception of Osemele at left guard, the four other offensive linemen will probably get the start.

My projected Week 1 starting offensive line would go as follows:

LT- Bryant McKinnie

LG- Bobbie Williams

C- Matt Birk

RG- Marshal Yanda

RT- Michael Oher

Keeping McKinnie at left tackle is the best thing for the Ravens and will provide increased reps for the group in practice moving forward as they work on their communication with the veteran Williams.

The team’s recently drafted linemen, Osemele and center Gino Gradkowski, will get a steady dose of action this preseason. However, it’ll likely take an injury or poor performance from one of the above guys for them to see significant action in the starting five once the games count for real.

 

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Kris Jones

About Kris Jones

Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series Goobvision propelled his career and notoriety amongst Ravens fans, even helping him win the 2010 nationwide DIRECTV Ultimate Displaced Fan contest. He's been featured on shows such as The Jim Rome Show, ProFootballTalk Live, The Sirius XM Blitz with Rich Gannon and Adam Schein, Sirius XM's MadDog Radio, The Michael Irvin Show, Tony Bruno Show, Two Live Stews and FoxSports.com to name a few (or is that a lot?). He's caught a touchdown pass from Warren Moon during a flag football game and hates the Pittsburgh Steelers more than anyone else on the face of the earth. Twitter: RavenManiac  More from Kris Jones

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