Entering the 2011 Ravens season, the biggest question, aside from Joe Flacco being a Super Bowl winning quarterback, is the state of the offensive line. With Matt Birk undergoing knee surgery, Marshal Yanda – who signed a five-year deal at the start of camp – and Michael Oher rumored to be moving from left to right tackle, Flacco looked as if he was about to escape the spotlight.
But, not so fast.
Both Birk and Yanda returned to practice today, Michael Oher, according to coach Harbaugh, will be the new right tackle, and the Ravens recently inked left tackle Bryant McKinnie to a two-year deal. McKinnie was at practice today – he did not dress for the last preseason game – and Cam Cameron was happy to see him in uniform.
“These guys got a little bit better today,” said Cameron. Change is part of the deal. It’s exciting to have a big, physical left tackle that can compliment Michael Oher.”
In regards to Birk, well only time will tell if his knee can hold up all season, but the center seemed positive when talking to reporters after practice today where he went up against D-Linemen for the first time.
“I think so,” said Birk when asked if he’ll be ready by Sept 11 opener against the Steelers. “Hopefully I don’t have any setbacks. But if everything progresses like we hope… yeah.
“It feels good now. Who knows what’s going to happen. It’s a long season and a lot of things happen to your body. But hopefully the worst is behind me.”