Have you ever seen Jah Reid in person? If you haven’t, you probably don’t realize why the guy is a football player. The 6’7” (even that doesn’t do justice to how huge he is) tackle is one of the scariest looking players in the league, and having to line up against him on defense would be enough to have you faking an injury.
Reid showed up to the first week of OTA’s, marking the first time he’s been back on the field since before the 2012 playoffs. A dislocated toe kept him out of the lineup as he was ultimately placed on IR before the Ravens’ monumental playoff run. He underwent surgery just before the team traveled to New Orleans to become World Champs and expected to be back for the start of team activities in 2013.
His first few years have been served as a utility lineman, filling in when needed, but he has proved that he can play. His biggest strength shown has been as a run blocker on the interior as he took over at left guard during the Ravens’ final regular season stretch.
With the very impressive interior work that he has given the team so far, is it possible that he could fill a void on the outside?
Kelechi Osemele and Marshal Yanda on the inside will undoubtedly be pro-bowl caliber, but Bryant McKinnie isn’t the long-term answer – and may not even be the short-term solution. Michael Oher has a home on the right side for now…unless McKinnie proves that he isn’t mature enough to legitimately put his heart and full effort into playing for a Super Bowl champion team.
Oher will be a bookend on the line for a long time, as he and the team are looking to reach a long-term deal (Oher’s contract expires after the 2013 season), but Reid could complete the pair in the coming years.
Certainly something to think about would be where Oher fits in after McKinnie finishes his tenure in Baltimore. He has performed best on the right side, but the Ravens might not have an option other than to move him to the left again.
Once McKinnie is done, who else fills the void on “The Blind Side”?
I can’t see anyone on the current roster that fills the need, so Oher might have to make the switch back. Reid heading to the left side might be an alternative, but he hasn’t played there in college or pro ball.
The 24-year old Reid played solid tackle in college at Central Florida as he started 41 games at right tackle, helping UCF’s running game average almost 200 yards per game. The Ravens drafted him knowing that he could help in case of injuries and start down the road…well, “down the road” could be pretty soon.
He’ll face some competition with Ramon Harewood, a guy I’m very high on as well. They both could have a shot to get the spot at right tackle in the coming year or two, but Reid should edge out Harewood. His college successes and spot-starts have been impressive for a guy who shows incredible athleticism for being the beast that he is.
The future of the line is bright, and barring a move that brings in another left tackle, I think Reid has a future at right tackle in Baltimore; yes, even if it means Oher moving back to the left side.
Reid has to be used in a larger role, as he has too much talent to waste. Osemele is too good of a guard to move, and Reid can’t spend his time as a backup lineman. As far as left tackle goes, Oher might not be the most attractive option, but he’ll play better than any other young player on the team.
Ozzie Newsome could make a future move, but if he doesn’t, it’s going to shake out this way.
His ability to provide serious help in both the pass and run game will give Jah Reid a starting job soon enough. Assuming his toe (of all things, right?) can keep in place, the Ravens offensive line might get a huge boost.