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Camp debut for Ravens' McKinnie, Ngata

8/3/2012

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.