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How Did A.Q. Shipley Grade In First Action Of Season?

Posted Oct 8, 2013

The Ravens center filled in at left guard after Kelechi Osemele left with back spasms.


The Ravens had a new member on their offensive line Sunday, as A.Q. Shipley took over at left guard when back spasms forced starter Kelechi Osemele out of the game after the opening series. 

Osemele’s injury gave Shipley his first chance to play as a Raven, and the coaching staff was pleased with the production from the third-year lineman. 

“I thought he did a great job, for the situation especially,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He jumped in there and did a nice job, which we would have expected.”

Osemele has started every game at left guard this season, but his back flared up during pre-game warmups and the Ravens had to make the switch to Shipley.

Shipley works at center and both guard spots during each week of practice, but he takes most of his reps at center. He played a few reps at left guard for the Indianapolis Colts last year, but that was the extent of his game experience at the position heading into Sunday.

“It’s a new position against live bullets really,” Shipley said. “In practice you aren’t really going full speed and to go against a pretty good defense, it’s different, but once I got out there it’s still football.”

Shipley played 72 of the Ravens’ 78 offensive snaps, and he struggled according to the statistical analysis website Pro Football Focus (PFF). Shipley received the lowest grade (-6.6) on the offensive line.

“I got beat a few times, don’t get me wrong,” Shipley said. “But I thought the run game was pretty solid. In pass protection, those were two pretty good defensive tackles in there, and I thought I held my own.”

Despite the grade from PFF, Shipley was a key part of an offensive line that established the running game for the first time this season.

After averaging just 64 yards on the ground through the first four games, the Ravens pounded the ball with running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, totaling 40 carries for a season-high 133 yards. 

“I’m built for run blocking,” Shipley said. “I have good leverage off the ball. I’m pretty quick off the ball. I like to run the ball, and it was nice yesterday to be able to do it.”

Harbaugh also praised the offensive line for their work in clearing holes for the running game.

“The offensive line seemed like it played even better than we thought after you watch the tape,” Harbaugh said. “They blocked exceptionally well in the run game.”

As the Ravens head into this week’s game against the Green Bay Packers, Osemele’s injury does not appear to be a long-term concern and he may be ready to return to the lineup. Shipley will continue to prepare for any of the three interior line positions, and try to take advantage of an opportunity if one presents itself again.

“That’s been my career so far,” Shipley said. “I’m used to that situation and I just have to be ready. I study my butt off during the week just in case something happens that I’m ready to go.”

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