Yanda's Pro Bowl presence matters

Yanda's Pro Bowl presence matters
December 27, 2012, 6:15 pm
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Ravens take pride in winning AFC North

Marshal Yanda hasn’t stepped on the practice field, but having him back last week made a world of difference for an offensive line that didn’t allow a sack.

Yanda (shoulder/knee) hasn’t practiced going into Sunday’s regular-season finale at the Cincinnati Bengals, but his presence is key if the Ravens (10-5) are serious about closing out with a win.

The right guard, who was selected to his second Pro Bowl and was the only choice from the Ravens’ line, didn’t play in a 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos two weeks ago because of his ankle. He was on the field for a 33-14 win vs. the Giants.

“He’s a big part of what we do. Up front in particular, I think all of you realize that it’s a collective unit and those guys play side by side. They work together. It’s a cohesive group, and he’s certainly a core to that group,” said offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, who has called two games since taking over for the fired Cam Cameron earlier this month. “He and (center) Matt Birk in the middle -- they are guys that we depend on.

“They do a tremendous job of rallying the guys and keeping everyone focused and calming the young guys down when needed.”

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (knee) and fullback Vonta Leach (ankle) didn’t practice Thursday, either. Receivers Anquan Boldin (shoulder) and Tandon Doss (ankle), defensive end Arthur Jones (thigh) and linebacker Albert McClellan (shoulder/thigh) were limited participants. Linebacker Ray Lewis (triceps) practice fully for the second day in a row. 

While Caldwell claims the offense hasn’t changed much under his guidance, it certainly appeared to take on a different personality vs. the Giants. They ran the no-huddle more frequently and quarterback Joe Flacco used the middle of the field more.

Yanda hasn't noticed much difference in his one game playing under Caldwell.

"We’re not going to change the fact that Cam’s gone. We’re going to roll with that and do the best we can with Jim," Yanda said.  "I think Jim has done a great job. You roll with the  punches. You kind of figure out how this business goes. Nobody’s job is set in stone. Anybody can be replaced. That’s the reality of this thing as we go forward."