With Jonathan Ogden entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, I find his old position at the forefront of my mind.
When the Ravens drafted current right tackle Michael Oher in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft, the expectation at the time was that that he would become the left tackle of the future. Oher has had his stints at left tackle, mostly due to injuries, whether to Jared Gaither or Bryant McKinnie. More often than not, Oher left a lot to be desired at left tackle.
It’s a bit awkward in some respects, considering that Oher was featured in the book and movie, “The Blind Side.” The Ravens really did all they could in the past five years, hoping Oher would man the left tackle position, but it just turns out he plays better at right tackle.
“As long as I’m in Baltimore, I would prefer to be on the right side,” Oher said, via BaltimoreRavens.com. “I’d prefer to be a right tackle. I think I’m better over there.”
I agree with him. Who could argue with Oher at this point? The offensive line played as well as they did all year in the playoffs last year, after Oher was moved to the right side and McKinnie took over at left.
The good news for Oher and Ravens nation is the fact that the 2013 season will be the first time in Oher’s career where he knows where he will play going into the season. Kelechi Osemele has locked the left guard spot, All-Pro Marshal Yanda is going to continue to dominate at right guard, and most importantly, McKinnie will be the starter at left tackle.
“Probably for the first time I’ve been a Raven, I know the position I’m going to play this year,” Oher also said. “I guess that’s a good thing, but I’ve still got to get better and work hard every day.”
Yes he does. As always, it all starts up front. The Ravens want to both protect their investment in Joe Flacco, and have a fierce two-headed running attack with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce. While it may not follow a “storybook” narrative, having Oher planted firmly on the right side gives the team the best chance to accomplish those goals and more in 2013.