That’s what Ravens fans felt before the 2017 training camp begun.
Jeremy Zuttah was out, and fans liked the change. They didn’t however, like the zero experience in the center position. John Urschel was average in the fans eyes, and Ryan Jensen was only expected to be slightly above Urschel.
Then, the first day of camp, John Harbaugh received a message from Urschel, informing him of his retirement from the NFL. Baltimore looked even more depleted.
The Ravens worked an entire camp with Ryan as their starting center. He practiced with the starters daily, he played every preseason game with them, he looked to be a lock. He performed well in games, and coaches praised his leaps and bounds of growth.
In week one, Jensen received the trial-by-fire. His task, protecting Joe Flacco from the All-Pro, Geno Atkins. Jensen did his job, though it took him hanging on at times. Nonetheless, his penalties were preferable to Atkins crashing into Flacco. For your first start at center, up against an All-Pro, simply going all 60 minutes is a feat.
But in week two, against the Cleveland Browns, Ryan Jensen was a PFF favorite.
The best centers from Week 2 in the NFL pic.twitter.com/0emTUGOIC7— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 19, 2017
Ryan played a great game, and his performance directly helped the Ravens win. He created protection and blocking for his quarterback and tailbacks. He made plays that were needed, certainly with Marshal Yanda’s injury. Here’s to hoping Ryan’s play continues for the 2017 season.