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Eugene Monroe Wants 'Nasty' Kelechi Osemele Back


Improving the offensive line was a major priority for the Ravens heading into the offseason.

The first step was re-signing Eugene Monroe to anchor the blindside as the franchise left tackle.

What's next?

"I think having [Kelechi Osemele] back will help tremendously," Monroe said after signing his five-year contract extension.

"I played with him just a short time and he's one of the nastiest players I've played with."

The third-year offensive lineman is returning from back surgery that landed him on injured reserve last year and ended his season after eight games. Even before getting sidelined, the injury limited his effectiveness and he wasn't the same player as his rookie season.

Monroe and Osemele played alongside each other for just two games last season, but Monroe saw something special in the former second-round pick during that time.

"He's giving people the business every play," Monroe said. "And that's part of the thing that we need, to have that attitude that we impose our will on our opponent, every game. When a team watches us and prepares for us, we want them to know they're in for a battle every snap of the ballgame."

Osemele had surgery during the season and he has consistently been rehabbing at the Under Armour Performance Center during the offseason months. The Ravens expect him to be ready when they begin the voluntary offseason conditioning program next month. He also has plenty of time before the Ravens start Organized Team Activities later this offseason.

When Osemele does get back on the field, the Ravens will have to decide exactly where to put him on the offensive line. He has played right tackle and left guard, and could fit at either spot depending on what the Ravens do in free agency or the draft. Last year's starting right tackle Michael Oher signed with the Tennessee Titans last Friday.

"We will be looking forward to getting 'K.O.' back," Head Coach John Harbaugh said after the season. "Whether he plays left guard or right tackle, we will have to make a determination on that. He can play either one of those spots."

Osemele's exact position on the line is still uncertain, but the expectation is for him to be one of the starters along with Monroe and Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda.

"I would assume that he will be in that lineup somewhere, because he's that kind of a player," Harbaugh said. "But he's got to come back and do it."

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