FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Michael Oher #74 of the Baltimore Ravens warms up prior to their AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
When the Baltimore Ravens selected Kelechi Osemele with the 60th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft most Ravens fans thoughts immediately turned to the left tackle position. The team had just lost a pro bowl guard and was using a high draft pick to draft a tackle that has been projected as an excellent guard in the NFL. So the Ravens were probably thinking along the same lines. That was, until left tackle Bryant McKinnie decided to no show for the first week of training camp and then show up weighing more than he should. Osemele could be called upon to play a different role with the offense than you, I or the Ravens thought he would. At least this soon any way.
McKinnie is trying the Ravens patience. Just like he did with the Minnesota Vikings a year ago. We can all speculate as to why he wasn't there for the beginning of camp. Maybe it's a back issue, which could be just as bad. Or maybe he had a little trouble losing that last bit of weight so he decided to give it another week. Then finally when the Ravens started to call his bluff he had to report in whatever shape he could get himself into. Either way head coach John Harbaugh doesn't deal with guys like this. He wants the guys that spend half the off season at the training facility and truly believe in being a part of this team.The problem is, McKinnie just isn't that guy. McKinnie may love the Ravens. He may consider himself every bit a part of this team as anyone else but to the coaches he has proven otherwise with his actions of late. This could be the end of his short era in Baltimore. The Ravens have done it before. they let Jared Gaither walk because of a back issue and a bad attitude towards working out. Why would it be any different with McKinnie. That is unless he has them in a position in which they can't win. Bryant McKinnie may be the best left tackle they can field. Which is something that can change your entire team.
Can Michael Oher move back to the left side and protect Joe Flacco's blind side so he take this team where it needs to go? If so, can Kelechi Osemele start at right tackle for an NFL team as a rookie? Those are a couple of big questions for a Super Bowl ready team.
The Ravens have to play their cards very close to the chest in this situation. They can't give away too much information on what they are doing to anyone, including the players. Which makes it all the more difficult for everyone to figure out. Will they let McKinnie practice? That may be the true test. Do they send him out in the trenches in 11-11 drills and let him risk injury? I think they may think his back issue is a little too much of a concern to let him get right in there. He passed his Physical and all but I think the Ravens want to see a little more of Michael Oher at LT before they make any Permanent decisions.
Apparently Osemele has looked very good in the right tackle position and Oher has been a gym rat at the facility all off season. These two things are big pluses in the categories that McKinnie has big minuses. Oher and Osemele are in camp and hard at work while McKinnie is still hardly working. You know Harbaugh has to be considering this more and more every day There is the question of depth however. That could always be the deciding factor. Oher may be ready to go back to the blind side but what if he got hurt? If McKinnie gets hurt they always have Oher as a back up.