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Will Rackley Looking To Unlock Potential


Will Rackley's three-year tenure in Jacksonville wasn't without its lows, culminating in his release on May 12.

Now in Baltimore, the veteran guard is happy to be wearing another team's colors.

"It's good be here," Rackley said. "I like it here already."

Rackley was one of the worst-graded offensive guards in the NFL in both 2011 and 2013, according to Pro Football Focus.

But there are reasons behind that, and reasons to believe Rackley can jumpstart his career with the Ravens. Tackle Eugene Monroe, who the Ravens also acquired from Jacksonville, has proven it can happen.

"I think I have a lot of untapped potential that hasn't come out with injuries and whatnot," Rackley said.

Rackley came into the league in 2011 as a third-round pick out of small school Lehigh. The jump in competition level was dramatic. It was also during the lockout year, so he didn't have a true offseason to learn with the Jaguars. Jacksonville still threw him into the fire, and Rackley started 14 games as a rookie.

Rackley went into the 2012 season with high hopes of taking the next step in his game. But on the third day of training camp practice, a running back landed on his ankle and tore ligaments. He missed the entire season.

"Coming in on the lockout year and not having OTAs, stepping into it took me a little while to adjust," Rackley said. "The second year, I was looking forward to it because that's usually the year you grow a lot. To miss that entire year, I was really upset about it."

The Jaguars had a coaching change last year, ushering in Gus Bradley. The entire offense struggled, as did the offensive line. Rackley dealt with concussions that eventually landed him on injured reserve after 11 starts.

Now the Ravens will get to put Rackley in the hands of Offensive Line Coach Juan Castillo, who has a reputation for working magic with athletic, young offensive linemen. Rackley is still just 24 years old and his movement is among his best traits.

"With Juan Castillo and the coaches they have here, I think I'll be able to grow a lot as a player," Rackley said. "Juan brings a lot of experience to the table and new techniques. I'm excited about going out and trying them out in OTAs coming up."

Rackley will be next to Monroe, who he played with in Jacksonville, and he'll have plenty of competition at his spot. Pro Bowler Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele are penciled in as the starters for now, and Rackley will compete with Ryan Jensen, Gino Gradkowski, A.Q. Shipley and fifth-round pick John Urschel.

"I think it's a good opportunity to come out here and compete," Rackley said. "It doesn't matter if it's thin or there are a lot of guys; you've just got to compete. I just try to do my best and let things take care of themselves."

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