There comes a point when fans stop rooting for a player and begin rooting for his replacement. I believe fans are at this point with Baltimore Ravens’ Bryant McKinnie. Once again the massive former Minnesota Vikings‘ player has been sidelined for not controlling his diet and exercise regimen. When will the left tackle drama stabilize for Baltimore?
Ever since Jonathan Ogden’s departure in 2008, the Ravens LT position has been on a rollercoaster ride. Jared Gaither was the next to step in to fill the departed now Hall Of Fame Inductee, Ogden. Gaither was a solid LT during the 2008 season allowing only 32 sacks as an O-line collectively. Two years later Baltimore decided that because of injury and ego, Gaither had to go. Michael Oher was the next man to step up and he, in my honest opinion, was sub-par at the position; right tackle is where his strength is at.
In 2011, McKinnie entered to save the day. If he could just keep the weight off, Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh would be at peace. If your only job is to stay in shape and push people around to earn millions, you need to take the initiative to hire the best dietitian and trainer to achieve just that. It was around 10 pounds that McKinnie was off by. So what?
Harbaugh and the Ravens organization set a standard that they are paying him to abide by point blank; McKinnie failed to do that and coach had to crack the whip.
Applause needs to be given to Harbaugh for holding his men’s feet to the fire. He is making a clear point that this is championship football; either you are willing to be the best that you can be for the team or you’re on the bench watching all the magic happen. McKinnie is one of the main contributing factors to the 2012 postseason triumph, but that was because he worked hard to be considered a starter again. This is just another case of him being complacent. Let’s just hope he can work hard enough to continue his great pass protection in 2013 as a starter.