Thursday night is the last audition for the youngsters and other guys trying to earn a spot on the Ravens’ 53-man roster and coach John Harbaugh has a lot to look out for.
First and foremost, the offensive line will be tested this season as Michael Oher will be shifted over to the right side, Bryant McKinney will replace him at left tackle, center Matt Birk will be returning from knee surgery and Marshal Yanda will return to right guard after missing some time with back spasms. As Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron stated on Tuesday, the O Line is a work in progress, and Birk says he and the rest of his line will be ready for Sept. 11. But for now, Game 4 of the preseason is more about the bubble players and those trying to make a lasting impression.
“(It’s a) great opportunity for the young guys, no doubt about it,” Harbaugh said. “They’ll be playing, obviously, the majority of the game. This is their chance to get some tape and get some live NFL action to prove to us and the rest of the League what they can do.
In terms of playing time…
“We’re just going to see how we’re going to handle it,” Harbaugh added. “It’s really to be determined. We’ve talked about it and we’re going to figure it out. But it is different, and that’s why it’s not as cut and dry as it usually is. For the veterans, it’s no big deal. But for the young guys, it’ll be interesting for them. That’s a loud stadium even in the preseason. We’ve been there before. All of the process of doing that… For the guys that make the team, it’s really important because they’ll understand how that works now for the regular season.”
So who will you be keeping an eye on? Backup QB Hunter Cantwell, Jimmy and Torrey Smith? What are your biggest concerns heading into this season?
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