Reporting Bob Haynie
The Baltimore Ravens agreed in principle to a two-year deal with LT Bryant McKinnie on Thursday. The transaction means that the team has stablilized it’s offensive line for the 2013 season.
At least they hope it does.
McKinnie’s play down the stretch was one of the big reasons why Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense averaged over 410 yards a game during the playoffs. He took over at left tackle and kept Flacco clean enough to lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl title.
Although his talent is undeniable, McKinnie’s desire to bring 100% effort has been questioned. He was out of shape in 2012 and resided in coach John Harbaugh’s dog house. But his performance in the postseason helped erase some of the drama and ease some hurt feelings.
With the Ravens looking at a gaping hole at left tackle, they decided that bringing McKinnie back was their best option.
They are probably correct.
By keeping McKinnie, Michael Oher can stay at right tackle and Kelechi Osemele can stay at left guard. With Osemele and Marshal Yanda, the Pro Bowl right guard, Baltimore is strong up the middle and those two can help make life easier for presumed new center Gino Gradkowski.
With the Ravens making over their defense this offseason, the strength of the squad is the offense.
If Bryant McKinnie plays to the best of his abilities, it only helps Flacco, Ray Rice and that Ravens “O” be the best they can be.
If he doesn’t bring it every week, Baltimore could have problems.
I’m going to assume that McKinnie, who visited a couple of other teams, will reward the Baltimore Ravens for their faith in him and put together his best season in a long time.