Who's the better left tackle: Alex Lewis or Ronnie Stanley?
"Ronnie, for sure. That's not a question," Lewis said this week with a laugh. "But if you ask who's a better guard, I'll take that title."
After three games as the Ravens' starting left tackle, Lewis is looking forward to moving back to his comfort zone at left guard after the bye.
That's looking more and more likely to happen with Stanley's injured foot on the mend. Both Head Coach John Harbaugh and Offensive Line Coach Juan Castillo were optimistic about key players returning for the Pittsburgh Steelers game, and Stanley is certainly in that mix.
With Stanley sidelined for the past four weeks, the Ravens offensive line has been shuffled and less effective, leading to some of the problems with the offense. Lewis was thrust into left tackle and Ryan Jensen and John Urschel took turns playing left guard.
Now the band is coming back together. Stanley and Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda both practiced Tuesday and Wednesday before the bye, giving hope that the Ravens' original starting five will be ready to go against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 6.
"We have good chemistry. I'm excited for it," Lewis said.
So how has Lewis done at left tackle?
According to Pro Football Focus, Lewis surrendered 17 quarterback hurries and four hits in three games. While at guard for the first three games, he gave up two hurries and four hits.
"To only be able to be out there training and practicing it for three weeks, it's OK," Lewis said. "I'm not happy with it, not terribly disappointed in it either."
That echoes comments from Harbaugh and Castillo.
Lewis played left tackle in college at Colorado, but is more suited for guard at this point of his NFL career. That's why the Ravens had him practicing at guard as soon as he landed in Baltimore.
"I'm going to say 'OK' in the big picture of a left tackle in the National Football League," Harbaugh said of Lewis' performance at the position the last four games. "He has played 'OK.' Now for a rookie, who we drafted to play at guard, who is playing pretty good darn good at guard, just to bump out there and play left tackle – the toughest spot – and do 'OK,' I think, is a tremendous credit to him.
"That guy is smart, he is tough, he studies. I really like Alex Lewis and believe he is going to be a really good player for us."
Lewis said he felt strong in his run blocking at left tackle. He felt comfortable with his pass sets too. He said his biggest issues were bull-rushing pass rushers and inside moves, which he says he can overcome with better timed hand combat.
"And then obviously eliminating penalties," Lewis said. "I had four penalties in the last two games and that's unacceptable."
One holding penalty in Sunday's 24-16 loss to the New York Jets negated a 52-yard run by Terrance West, which would have put the Ravens in the red zone for the only time in the game.
"Alex, really, he did a good job for us," Castillo said. "What he worked at was guard. That's the position he really trained at all offseason. We're excited to have the two [Lewis and Stanley] back together."