To answer the headline: Yes, yes, and double yes. During the first full team practice of the Baltimore Ravenstraining camp, starting LT Bryant McKinnie was held out of practice by Coach John Harbaugh. “I just didn’t feel comfortable putting him out there at that weight,” said Harbaugh.
McKinnie’s weight has been a problem his entire career; in fact it’s part of the reason that he rode the bench the entire regular season. Of course McKinnie was thrust in to the lineup for the start of the playoffs and was phenomenal, looking fresh and dominant like he used to. McKinnie’s insertion into the starting lineup also allowed Michael Oher to shift to RT where he’s way more effective and also shifted Kelechi Osemele to LG, where he turned out to be dominating at the position.
McKinnie was a free agent in the offseason and it was uncertain what the Ravens wanted to do at the position. Personally, I thought they should have made a run at Brandon Albert when the Kansas City Chiefs were shopping him. He would have been worth a second round pick next year. They could have also tried for Jake Long, although he would have cost more, but aren’t great left tackles priceless? Still the Ravens went ahead and signed the 33 year-old McKinnie to a two-year deal, so they’ve made their beds with him for the time being.
I wasn’t a fan of the re-signing and I still have reservations about it. I find it hard to believe that McKinnie can make it through the entire regular season and hopefully playoff games afterwards. I hope for the best because that’s all I can really do. As I stated in my Predictions of 2014 Raven Free Agents column earlier in the week, the Ravens need to find a solid left tackle of the future. Until then put McKinnie on the Atkins Diet or something (I’ve already lost ten pounds on it).