ORLANDO, Fla. -- If the Baltimore Ravens lined up for a game today, this is how coach John Harbaugh envisions the starting offensive line:
Of course, this is subject to change. The Ravens don't play a game that counts until Sept. 7, and the draft in May can alter the Ravens' plans.
At the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday, Harbaugh provided some good insight on what was the weakest part of the Ravens' team last season ...
The Ravens intend on starting Jeremy Zuttah at center. Zuttah, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a fifth-round pick, will replace Gino Gradkowski. Harbaugh informed Gradkowski, who struggled as a first-year starter, of the demotion on Monday. "Jeremy is a more experienced center-guard in this league," Harbaugh said. "The thing I liked on tape -- we studied him pretty hard -- he’s a big, rangy guy. He’s got length, he’s got size in there, he’s got experience and he’s also got, we think, a knack for the scheme we’re going to run offensively. He’s a good fit for us.”
The plan is to start the versatile Osemele at left guard. "That’s where I see him playing next year," Harbaugh said. "Could that change? Certainly, with the draft and that kind of thing. But let’s keep him in there at left guard. He’s got a lot of experience in there right now, he’s comfortable there, he likes playing on the left side. It provides us with some real size inside, some length inside, which is good. We can run all those twists and games and things in there, keep the pocket deep for Joe [Flacco]. That’s where we’re going right now, and we’ll see how it plays out.” Osemele could potentially move to right tackle if the Ravens draft a guard.
Wagner is penciled in at right tackle to replace Michael Oher, who signed with the Tennessee Titans in free agency. A fifth-round pick a year ago, Wagner played 12 percent of snaps last season. "We put him in that role as a move tight end with the extra offensive lineman down at the goal line in short-yard situations, and he was very bad at it early and he became very good at it toward the end," Harbaugh said. "You start to learn how a guy thinks, so you learn how to teach him a little bit. I think he’s going to be a guy that’s going to need a lot of reps to gain his confidence. And once he gains confidence in his techniques, he’ll be really good at it. Juan [Castillo] is a great trainer of offensive linemen, one of the best in the league, if not the best, at training guys in techniques. We think that Rick’s going to really benefit from that.” Jah Reid is in the mix at right tackle as well.