Left tackle Eugene Monroe likes the cohesiveness of the Ravens’ offensive line during training camp. The line was a target for criticism last season, when the Ravens’ running attack had the lowest average per carry (3.1 yards) in the NFL.
If the performance of the offensive line does not dramatically improve in 2014, the running game could struggle again. However, Monroe likes the cohesiveness that the offensive line is showing early in camp.
“Being here all offseason and working with the guys through the spring (and) going through training camp now only gives you an advantage,” Monroe said. “We’ve been working together building our relationship. I had a chance to work with K. O. (Kelechi Osemele) a little bit last year. He went down, but we’ve had a whole offseason working together and now training camp. That only helps add to the continuity on the line, which we need to be successful.”
Four of the five starting offensive linemen look set – Monroe, Osemele at left guard, Jeremy Zuttah at center, and Marshal Yanda at right guard. The lone question mark is at right tackle, where Ricky Wagner is trying to hold off Jah Reid for the starting job.
Monroe was traded from the Jaguars to the Ravens last October, forcing him to learn the offense and his new teammates on the fly. But after re-signing with the Ravens during free agency, Monroe enjoys the challenge of blocking pass-rushers like Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil in training camp.
“It’s cool to have the opportunity to practice against elite players every single day, every single snap,” Monroe said. “I didn’t necessarily have that in Jacksonville, so it’s making me better every day going against guys like that.”
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