After a rather disappointing showing in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Baltimore Ravens have elected to move Oniel Cousins to right guard. The move will now press 3rd round pick Jah Reid into action as the teams starting right tackle.
Cousins really can’t do much worse at guard than tackle, that’s for sure. That being said, it will be interesting to see how the Ravens work this make shift line and if Jah Reid can take advantage of the opportunity that has just been presented. Reid by no means will be guaranteed of anything, as he is still very much a work-in-progress. If the rookie can prove he can hold down the position of right tackle, it would be huge to say the least, considering there are still many question marks that surround this offensive line.
With starting right guard Marshall Yanda still suffering from back spasms, a move for Cousins to right guard may ultimately be the best thing for both the 27-year-old and the Ravens. When Yanda does return, the competition between Cousins and Reid will certainly heat up, as Yanda is bound to start at either right guard or right tackle. Where Yanda plays in 2011 will be dependent on what Cousins and Reid do the rest of training camp and preseason.
In a perfect world I’m almost positive the Ravens would love to leave Yanda at his natural guard position, but if the rookie Jah Reid can’t handle starting at tackle, don’t be surprised to see Yanda shifted over to tackle and Cousins starting at gaurd. On the flip side, what if Cousins took his struggles from the outside to the inside, then what happens to the right side of the line?
We can only hope either Cousins or Reid takes the bone thrown their way and run with it, because if neither do, it could be a long season for the Ravens offensive line.
Since there are still three preseason games to go, the Ravens will have plenty of time to figure out this whole offensive line situation. I expect a lot of mixing and matching, experimentation and make shift line changes, as the Birds will be looking to see what combination(s) fit best on the right side of that line.