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Ravens Confident in Offensive Line, Still Open to Adding Players

Posted Jun 15, 2017

The Ravens have to replace starters at center and right tackle, and they’ve used the last few months to look at their in-house options.

The Ravens have checked off most of the items from their offseason wish list.

Veteran receiver? Cornerback depth? Premier safety? Young pass rushers?

All done.

The offensive line is the one area of need where the Ravens didn’t use a high draft pick and have yet to add a veteran player. Baltimore must replace center Jeremy Zuttah right tackle Rick Wagner, and the coaching staff has spent the last few months getting a good look at young players on the roster to see if they can fill the void.

“There are a couple of unknowns right now,” Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Wednesday. “I think there’s several players on our football team, from the inside, that could come in and play at a high level. Certainly, there might be a chance to go outside, but there always is at every position. I think we got the players in house.”

Since offseason practices began, Ryan Jensen and John Urschel have split the first-team reps at center. James Hurst has taken all the starting reps at right tackle.

The Ravens could go into the season with those players as the starters, but Owner Steve Bisciotti also told Permanent Seat License holders on a conference call Tuesday that the Ravens are confident some quality offensive linemen will still hit the market.

“We all take our cue from Ozzie and have learned over the years that if you’re patient, things like Elvis Dumervil will fall to you and Jeremy Maclins will fall to you. We’ve got time, we’ve got some money and we’re quite sure some offensive line help is going to shake out,” Bisciotti said.

“If something comes up on the free-agent market that we think is better than what we have, we still have money, we still have draft picks to trade, we still have some deep positions that we could trade.”

The Ravens have been successful in the past finding offensive line help late in the process. Last year is a good example, as they signed Vladimir Ducasse in the middle of the season and he started the final eight games.

The Ravens ideally don’t want to wait until midseason to add a starter, but they could still find a veteran before training camp or right before the season when final cuts are made.

“I know this: if there’s a really good player out there, I know that Ozzie and his staff, and John [Harbaugh], will do an outstanding job evaluating and making choices,” Mornhinweg said.

A veteran lineman the Ravens reportedly have been in contact with is former Jets center Nick Mangold, but it’s been more than two months since his reported visit. Some of the other veterans on the market are Orlando Franklin and Ryan Clady.     

The Ravens could go dip back into free agency to fill out the line, but the players and coaches emphasized that they’re confident in the players on the roster if they opt to go that route.

“I don’t think [our young linemen] getting sold short. I think they’re working hard,” veteran guard Marshal Yanda said. “If they feel like we could get better in this position, and [the front office] makes a move and get someone, they can do that. As far as being ‘worried’ about that, we’ll definitely work our tails off to be ready with the guys that we have.”

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