Baltimore Ravens’ offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie is the talk of the town. A no-show at training camp, the team did not heard from him and he does not have an agent. On Thursday, head coach John Harbaugh said that McKinnie is “dealing with an issue”, but did not elaborate.
The Ravens took matters into their own hands and fined him $30,000 for missing the start of training camp. The new collective bargaining agreement applies to his situation. While it is unknown if he will lose his roster spot, the Ravens aren’t wasting any time looking for possible replacements.
Michael Oher was moved back to the left side and they activated Kelechi Osemele. Osemele was out for more than a month due to back spasms. He will compete against Jah Reid and Ramon Harewood for a possible starting job at right tackle.
Head coach John Harbaugh believes that Osemele is up to the task of competing for a starting position:
“We definitely feel like he’s a guy we could plug in and he could start,” Harbaugh said. “Absolutely.”
Defensive end/nose tackle Haloti Ngata was added to the PUP list after tweaking his hamstring during conditioning.
Coach Harbaugh is optimistic about his return to training camp:
“That’s a hamstring,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not a major hamstring, but Haloti has been around a long time and I think we’ll bring him back when the time is right here. It won’t be real long, but it’s going to be a few days.”
The No. 2 running back spot is still up for grabs and the competition is under way. No clear leader has emerged yet and the Ravens may give the competitors a chance to share the workload, all three bring different running styles to the table.
Anthony Allen, a powerful runner, was on the active roster last season.
Damien Berry describes his running style as “fast and physical”. He was on the practice squad last season.
Rookie Bernard Pierce was drafted out of Temple. Last season he had 1,481 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. He has a slashing running style and isn’t ready to be counted out of the competition:
“I’m definitely looking to turn heads every day on the practice field,” Pierce said. “The other two – ‘Ant’ and D.B.– they are really good guys. We already have a friendship, so right now it’s just competition.
I’m still miffed at McKinnie and I’m glad the Ravens fined him, he deserves to pay the price for committing the crime. I have faith in their ability to find the best man to fill his shoes, it would be awesome if rookie Kelechi Osemele was that person.
I’m excited about the running back competition, better to have a few good men than nothing at all. It sounds like they are a talented bunch; each could be used in specific situations. Time will tell if a leader emerges, for now I’m good with all three.