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Gaither Joins Off Season Program

Jared says he’s ready to go to work and play left tackle.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Monday, March 29th, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

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Jared Gaither made good on his promise to return to the Ravens’ training facility on Monday and participate in their voluntary offseason conditioning program.

Gaither, a restricted free agent, said he was previously rehabilitating an ankle injury that troubled him late last season, but feels a dedication to the Ravens’ regimen will help him in the upcoming year.

“It was good to rehab, but I’m ready to get back with the team,” Gaither told BaltimoreRavens.com. “It’s great to be back.  Now, my goal is to get stronger and guard against any injuries throughout the offseason and next season.  I’m just going to continue to work hard with my teammates.”

Gaither’s absence from the program was recently called into question by head coach John Harbaugh.

When asked about the situation last week at the NFL owners meetings, Harbaugh told reporters, “I really believe Jared is going to be a premier offensive tackle in this league.  The thing we need him to do is to get up there and start working on it. I talked to Drew Rosenhaus [Gaither's agent] and he tells me he’s getting Jared in shape.

The last time I checked, Drew Rosenhaus doesn’t coach the offensive line in the National Football League. Jared needs to be in our weight room with our players with our offensive line, becoming the player he can become.”

Gaither said he planned on being in Owings Mills, Md., anyway.

“I’m going to participate in everything we’ve got here,” Gaither explained.  ”I can’t wait to start preparing for the year.  I’m not limiting what I want to improve on, because there is a lot of it.  Footwork, technique, strength, that all goes into it.  I’m committed to this team and committed to getting better as a player.”

The University of Maryland product did miss five games in 2009 due to foot and neck injuries.  When he was out, then-rookie Michael Oher more than admirably shifted from right to left tackle, prompting pundits to speculate whether the move could be permanent.

But, Gaither emphasized his desire to remain on the left side.

“I’m a left tackle, so why would I even think about playing right?” Gaither asked.  ”That would be like asking Joe Flacco if he wants to play running back.  Left tackle is my position, and that’s where I want to be.”

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