Friday, August 3, 2012
Camp debut for Ravens' McKinnie, Ngata
By Jamison Hensley
Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata took to the field for their first training camp practices Friday.
Both had been battling injuries (McKinnie had a back problem and Ngata had a tweaked hamstring). Both were criticized for carrying extra pounds this offseason. But both are in totally different positions as they begin camp.
Ngata is assured of being a starter and is expected to have a Pro Bowl season for the fourth consecutive year. McKinnie, however, is guaranteed nothing.
While I would be surprised if McKinnie wasn't the starting left tackle in the season opener, the Ravens aren't going to give him the job. Baltimore has a better offensive line with a focused and determined McKinnie. But if McKinnie struggles in camp and in the preseason, the Ravens will cut him. They're not going to pay him $3.2 million this year if he is holding back the team.
McKinnie's play will stay a hot topic all summer.