Bryant McKinnie was held out of spring practices so he could get in shape, and missed the start of training camp.
But slowly, he’s rebuilding a little good will with the Ravens coaches.
McKinnie worked as the second left tackle in the preseason opener against Atlanta, behind starter Michael Oher, and seems to be creeping back into the good graces of coach John Harbaugh.
“He’s practiced well,” Harbaugh said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “He’s been durable. He’s made it through all of the practices that he’s been in. He played in the game, a good number of reps. He’s competing like all those guys are right now, and it’s a competition on the offensive line.”
He’s still working with the twos, but the Ravens have a clear motivation for McKinnie to succeed.
If he’s in shape and in the right frame of mind, he and Oher on the right give them a pair of solid tackles. If not, Oher’s back to the left, and they’re wondering what else to do.
Rookie Kelechi Osemele started at right tackle against the Falcons.
“He played well,” Harbaugh said. “He was a rookie, and that was the first experience for him, but he handled it really well. He was calm, didn’t make mistakes, didn’t jump offside, had his assignments right, blocked people well for the most part, and I thought he acquitted himself very well.”
That’s great, but there’s no question they’d prefer not to have to go that route. But whether they have to depends almost exclusively on McKinnie.