|03-27-2012, 09:44 PM||#1|
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Ravens Coach John Harbaugh Says 'We Have To Upgrade The Offensive Line'
Three weeks into free agency, the Ravens have retained starting linebacker Jameel McClain, added to their defensive back depth and upgraded their special teams but one of their glaring offseason needs remains virtually untouched. "We have to upgrade the offensive line," Ravens coach John Harbaugh saud during the owners meetings Tuesday. "I don't even know if we have a full complement of linemen to be on our 53-man roster right now." The Ravens did re-sign veteran center Matt Birk, but they have yet to replace Pro Bowl left guard Ben Grubbs, who signed with the New Orleans Saints a couple of days into free agency. Jah Reid, primarily a right tackle who played very little during his rookie campaign, currently sits atop the left guard depth chart. Birk, left tackle Bryant McKinnie, right guard Marshal Yanda and right tackle Michael Oher are returning starters from a group that Harbaugh admitted had "real issues" at times, particularly when Grubbs missed an extended stretch with a toe injury. Behind them, the only other linemen on the Ravens' roster are Reid, guard Howard Barbieri, tackle Ramon Harewood and centers Cecil Newton and Justin Boren. None have extensive NFL experience. "We don't have our five starters set. We have guys where [you say], 'Can they play a position or not?' We're talking about Jah. Can he play left guard? So we have to get better there just for the fact that we don't really have the numbers there right now," Harbaugh said. "The thing I've learned over the years, it starts with the offensive line on offense. The quarterback is obviously critically important but if you don't have an offensive line, you can forget about it."
Source: Baltimore Sun
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