Gary Kubiak: Marshal Yanda Could Even Play Quarterback


Marshal Yanda has convinced the Ravens coaching staff that he can do just about anything.

The offense gathered for a meeting before last week's game against the Cleveland Browns, and Gary Kubiak talked to the group about shuffling the offensive line because of injuries to starting tackles Eugene Monroe and Rick Wagner. Yanda would have to move from his Pro Bowl spot at right guard to play tackle in Wagner's absence.

It's a transition not many players can make, but Kubiak had little concern about his veteran lineman.

"I told Marshal, 'You'll be fine. You could probably play quarterback,'" Kubiak joked.

Quarterback may be one of the few spots where Yanda would actually struggle, but Kubiak is making a point about his flexibility. The eight-year pro has established himself as one of the best linemen in the NFL — he's made the Pro Bowl the last four seasons – and he's as good up front as Kubiak has ever seen in his 30 years in the NFL.

"I've been fortunate to be around some really good linemen, [but] this is as good as I've ever been around," Kubiak said. "He's an amazing player. His attention to detail, his commitment to the football team and what he does is as good as I've ever been around."

Yanda isn't one to talk up himself, and he downplayed the praise from his offensive coordinator.

"I appreciate it, that's for sure," Yanda said. "But right now you're worried about playing well, practicing and getting ready for the Steelers. There will be time to reflect back on the season after the season is over. I'm just worried about playing on Saturday."

Yanda could be on the move again in the wild-card matchup with the Steelers. Monroe is still dealing with an ankle injury, meaning the Ravens could with rookies James Hurst and John Urschel at left tackle and right guard, respectively.

The lineup worked against the Browns last week, and Urschel credited Yanda for that.

"He's the rock of our offensive line," Urschel said. "Marshal Yanda makes it easy. Let me tell you, that's a real lineman. He knows how to get it done."

Yanda's talent and work ethic are only pieces of the equation. He's shown a willingness throughout his career to play wherever the Ravens need him. He started all 16 games at right tackle in 2010 before anchoring at guard.

Now he's back on the edge and will have to keep a fierce Pittsburgh front out of the backfield and away from quarterback Joe Flacco.

"It's what I have to do for the team," Yanda said. "And I'm a team guy. I always have been. It's what we need right now so I'm going to go out there and give it my best no matter what."

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