Ravens right guard Marshal Yanda has spent the offseason sitting on a park bench watching the whole world change around him.
The football equivalent of it anyway. Center Matt Birk flirted with retirement before ultimately re-signing with the team and then missed minicamp after surgery to fix varicose veins in his leg. Left tackle Bryant McKinnie wasn’t in shape for minicamp, forcing Michael Oher to the left tackle spot with Jah Reid stepping in at right tackle. That stopped him from contending for a starting spot at left guard, left vacant when Ben Grubbs left as a free agent and now manned by the recently signed ex-Bengal Bobbie Williams.
That’s led to some questions about the fitness of the line as the team heads toward training camp. Yanda doesn’t think the team has anything to worry about up front. He told the team’s website that the line was “heading in the right direction” and pointed to the depth up front as a strength.
“We definitely have enough guys where if someone goes down, or if something happens, then we know we’ll have enough depth,” Yanda said. “It’s early in this thing yet, obviously we haven’t even started training camp yet, so we’ll see what happens. They got enough guys so we can make it work and have a successful line.”
In addition to the players listed above, the Ravens signed veteran interior lineman Tony Wragge after drafting Kelechi Osemele and Gino Gradkowski in April. There is depth in that group, but the big question will be at tackle. McKinnie wasn’t great last season, but he was a better pass blocker on the left than Oher was on the right. Reid only played a handful of snaps as a rookie in 2011, which makes McKinnie’s conditioning all the more important this summer.