Ravens expected to keep Oher at left tackle

September, 14, 2012
9/14/12
10:52
AM ET
Michael Oher is staying at left tackle for the Ravens, the NFL Network is reporting. This was an unexpected lineup change in the season opener because the Ravens were presumably going with Bryant McKinnie at that spot.

The switches on the left side of the Ravens' offensive line in Week 1 -- Oher over McKinnie at tackle and Ramon Harewood instead of Bobbie Williams at guard -- make sense in light of the team's no-huddle offense. The Ravens can move at a quicker tempo with Oher (26 years old) and Harewood (25). It would have been more difficult with McKinnie, 32, who is battling weight issues, and Williams, 35, who is dealing with ankle problems.

While Oher is still better on the right side than the left, it makes sense to go younger and more athletic. The other benefit of moving Oher to the left side is getting Kelechi Osemele on the field at right tackle. Osemele, a second-round pick, has been the team's most impressive rookie.

The reshuffling of the Ravens' offensive line makes sense why the team wanted McKinnie to take a $1 million pay cut. He is scheduled to make $2.2 million and could make the rest back with incentives. The way the Ravens are proceeding with the offensive line, McKinnie likely won't see that money anytime soon.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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