OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Still massive at roughly 370 pounds, new Baltimore Ravens left offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie says he’s working hard to get down to his usual playing weight of 350 pounds.
“I play at like 355, not 335,” McKinnie said Saturday. “I haven’t been that since college, my junior year.”
Cut by the Minnesota Vikings after reporting to training camp at 387 pounds, McKinnie signed a two-year contract with the Ravens last week and is eager to start the next phase of his career in the NFL.
“I have a lot of motivation,” he said. “So you are definitely going to see a lot of pancake (blocks) this year.”
McKinnie played left tackle with the Vikings, and the Ravens have every intention of keeping him there. So Michael Oher will shift back to the right side, where he played as a rookie two years ago.
Oher took the change in stride.
“I just like playing football,” he said. “I am going to work hard at any position that I’m at. I’m going to work hard and be the best player that I can be at any position. We are going to be a great team with him, and that’s exactly what we needed.”
If McKinnie can regain his Pro Bowl form from two years ago and Oher is solid on the right side, a patchwork offensive line could potentially become a formidable group.
“He is a pro, he will be ready to go,” offensive line coach Andy Moeller said. “He is a great player. He is plenty bright
enough. He just comes from a little bit of a different system, so the terminology and stuff will take a little bit of time. He will be ready to roll.”
Asked what Ravens fans can expect from him, McKinnie replied:
“A dominant player that is trying to be the best at his position.”
McKinnie has had off-field issues in the past, including his involvement in the infamous “Love Boat” scandal while he was with the Vikings several years ago. He downplayed any perception of that character issues would be a factor in Baltimore.
“I am actually more quiet and laid back than people think,” McKinnie said. “It’s just little things here and there that used
to pop up in my past. It’s nothing like that I see happening anymore. I was kind of in my younger days anyway.”
NOTES: WR Lee Evans didn’t practice Saturday and has a walking boot on his left foot. The injury doesn’t seem serious. Evans missed time last season with the Buffalo Bills with a left ankle injury. … Six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk returned to practice for the first time since undergoing knee surgery at the start of camp. “He has stayed on top of his game,” Moeller said. “Just see how it feels and how his knee progresses.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)