It’s a day of melancholy as the news of Marshal Yanda’s retirement has been confirmed. The majority of fans on social media are sad Yanda will not be battling in 2020 but also have made acknowledgments toward their appreciation for all his years of hard work.
I unfortunately can’t say I’ve ever put in effort toward anything the same way Marshal Yanda did playing football for the Baltimore Ravens. His work ethic, determination and level of commitment supersede anybody on that practice field. He is a legend in his own right and I wish him and his family nothing but the best post-football.
My favorite memory of Yanda was during a particularly warm practice a few years ago, Yanda didn’t go for the water or Gatorade’s in the ice bucket being wheeled around for the players. Rather, Yanda submerged his head inside the cooler for multiple seconds to combat the heat. After he was done, he strapped his helmet back on and went to work. No comment, no smirk, no attitude. He was hot, cooled off, and now there is more work to be done. — Kyle P. Barber
Marshal Yanda was one of the greatest offensive lineman of his era. He was a seven-time All-Pro and a Super Bowl Champion. He was critical to the Ravens record-breaking rushing attack last season and he will go out on a high-note. He should be rightfully inducted into the Hall of Fame one day. In the meantime, he will be irreplaceable for the Ravens next season. Guard just became a huge priority. — Jakob Ashlin
The term “changing of the guard” has been thrown around ad nauseum in Baltimore over the last few years, and with good reason. Following the 2012 season, the two names who defined the 2000’s for the Ravens departed in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, and now within a one year span the three who defined the 2010’s for the purple and black are gone as well. Last year it was Terrell Suggs and Joe Flacco, and now it’s another future Hall of Famer in Marshal Yanda.
While all of those names are very important in their own respective ways and they all got their due praise when they left, there’s something special about Yanda that’s hard to define. Putting it about as simply as I can, I believe it’s the throwback way that he carried himself both on and off the field. His no nonsense demeanor as a player was matched equally by his unassuming, humble attitude off of it; something that served as a perfect contrast to some of the louder voices this franchise has been known to attract over the years. The Ringer’s Robert Mays once profiled Yanda, describing him as, “an NFL legend, hiding in plain sight,” which I think is the most apt way of describing his career. I think there’s a legitimate possibility that when he’s inducted into Canton (in what should be five years), some of the people who watched football even during his prime years won’t have much recollection of him. From what I can gather of his low-key Iowan upbringing and how it translated to his time as a Raven, that may be just the way he’d prefer it to be. — Jake Louque
The news of Marshal Yanda’s retirement is a crushing blow to Ravens fans. Yanda has been a steady cog in Baltimore’s offense for a very long time. His loss will be felt both on the field with his spectacular level of play each and every week and also his quiet but inspiring leadership in the locker room. Yanda embodied what it means to, “Play Like a Raven,” throughout his entire career. It was an honor to watch such a hard-working player give his all every single Sunday for his team and city. Marshal leaves the game still playing at an extremely high level. He will forever be a legend in the city of Baltimore and hopefully he will be wearing a gold jacket one day soon. He certainly deserves it. — Dustin Cox
“Don’t frown because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
We all knew this day was coming sooner rather than later, but that doesn’t make the pill any easier to swallow. Marshal Yanda has been an absolute joy to watch for the past 13 seasons and he truly embodies what it means to be a Raven, on and off the field. Yanda will go down as one of the most storied and successful players in franchise history, right alongside the likes of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jonathan Ogden and Terrell Suggs.
Offensive lineman are generally underappreciated more often than not but Yanda will almost certainly see his name in Canton one day - and he 100% deserves it. It’s a shame that he won’t be around to make one more run championship run but knowing that he’s going out on his own terms, in good health and was still playing high level football in his final NFL season is a great feeling.
It’s been a true joy getting to watch Yanda play since 2007. Congratulations to him on a fantastic career and Ravens fans everywhere are and should be grateful. — Frank Platko