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Even though Ben Grubbs has a new full-time partner in crime with left tackle Michael Oher taking over the starting duties, the switch from Jared Gaither has been relatively smooth.
Last year, Oher started five games for an injured Gaither on the left side, which has helped make for a seamless transition for the duo moving forward.
“During the  season, there were a lot of changes made, and we just had to adjust,” said Grubbs. “We made it work. I thought it was a really good left side with me and Mike when Jared was gone. I don’t have any problem with having him over there. I’m confident in both of their ability.”
That doesn’t mean it was easy to play next to someone different on a potential week-to-week basis. An offensive line needs time to gel, so in-season changes typically take some getting used to.
But because Oher stepped in so ably during his rookie campaign, there is a familiarity.
This offseason was big in building camaraderie, as well. Both Oher and Grubbs have been regular participants in the Ravens’ program, which can only benefit Joe Flacco’s blind side.
“I think it definitely helped to have that experience with Mike,” Grubbs noted. “To be honest, when Mike first moved to the left side, it was a tough transition. But, now I know how he plays, I know his attitude, I know how hard he works. We’ll be fine. Mike’s a great player.
“He wants to be the best at his position, and I want to be the best at my position.”
To that end, this could be the year when Grubbs breaks the ceiling to the Pro Bowl after being voted a first alternate in 2009.
He feels good about his chances following an offseason where he is fully healthy.
“Last year, I was coming off ankle surgery, and that was hanging over me for a lot of the offseason,” Grubbs explained. “Now, I’m healthy and I’m just trying to refine my craft.”