Now that Bryant McKinnie is no longer a Raven, he was able to open up a little more about what's gone on with the Ravens' offensive line this season.
Appearing on WNST's The Reality Check with Glenn Clark, McKinnie was asked a few questions about why the offensive line began struggling this season under run-game coordinator Juan Castillo.
McKinnie didn't appear to have any issues with Castillo, but did admit he was surprised he was brought in when the offensive line had some success late last year. Castillo has been working on technique changes, presumably for the better in the long-term, which has caused the line to struggle early on.
McKinnie himself said he even wondered why the Ravens brought in Castillo, given the different techniques he was sure to implement.
"I'm not sure why they felt like a change was needed," McKinnie said on the radio program. "But that's up to the head coach [John Harbaugh] and that's his decision. I guess he felt Juan was a guy he looked at that was great at coaching offensive linemen and he wanted to bring him in. But they bring somebody in and then change everybody's technique. That's a of change, especially for offensive linemen. That's five different people that have to get used to change. It's going to be a difference. It's going to take time to get used to what he wants."
The offensive line has had a hard time opening holes as Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce are averaging just 2.8 yards per carry each.
With such change, McKinnie noted it will take some time before the Ravens become adjusted to the point where they don't have to think too much on any given play. McKinnie also said that Castillo has been harping on the offensive line picking up the scheme and technique changes by Week 8 and Week 9, dating back to OTAs.
The more accustomed the linemen get to Castillo's style, the better chance of success, McKinnie believes.
"It's just a matter of when everybody finally feels like OK, it's starting to gel, the technique and all the stuff we've been working on with Juan is starting to catch on," McKinnie said.
McKinnie said there was no finger-pointing between linemen and running backs in the Baltimore locker room. He even said that the players themselves would sometimes try to figure out ways to overcome coaching if they felt like they needed to.
"That's definitely been one of the best locker rooms I've been in," McKinnie said. "Those guys play for each other. Those guys are going to figure out ways to win, regardless of what's being coached."