Offensive line issues continue to haunt Ravens

Offensive line issues continue to haunt Ravens
September 30, 2013, 6:30 pm

Harbaugh on Ravens' pass/run balance

Ravens coach John Harbaugh did not hide his displeasure about the offensive line’s performance during Sunday’s loss to Buffalo.

There was not much to like. The Ravens had just 24 yards rushing, and Joe Flacco was sacked four times. With so many asking what’s wrong with the offensive line, Harbaugh tried to provide answers Monday.

The Ravens have four starters returning from last year’s unit that played so well during the Super Bowl run – left tackle Bryant McKinnie, left guard Kelechi Osemele, right guard Marshal Yanda, and right tackle Michael Oher. The only change has been at center, where Gino Gradkowski has been starting in place of the retired Matt Birk. Harbaugh said the change at center was a factor, but did not point the finger at Gradkowski.

“The whole O-line is disappointing right now,” Harbaugh said. “No one is more disappointed than they are. We’ve got to run block better, and we’ve got to pass block better. “We had too many mental mistakes, too many things that are basic protection rules. As far as Gino and how he fits into that, just want you’d expect from a young center. He’s done a good job physically. It hasn’t been too often where Gino has been pushed around. He can just come off the ball better. Gino is a really smart guy, but Matt had been at it for a lot of years. So that’s something that we’re working through.”

Harbaugh cautioned that anyone looking for rapid improvement in the running game might be disappointed.

“We’ll find a way to work it out,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a process; it’s going to be a year-long process.”