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At this point in training camp, the battle for the Ravens’ right tackle position is wide open.
But considering Oniel Cousins (restricted free agent) and Ramon Harewood (physically unable to perform list) have not been able to practice, rookie Jah Reid is getting all the snaps.
To Reid, it is the first step in his planned road towards a Week 1 start.
Reid Playing With First String Right Click for Full Screen Option
“There’s definitely a lot to learn, but I have this camp to do it. I’m going to do the best I can,” Reid said after a physical Saturday practice. “I expect to go out there and start. That’s what I want to do and that’s what I came here to do.
“I’ve just got to learn and be like a sponge to absorb as much information as I can.”
When the Ravens selected the 6-foot-7, 336-pounder in the third round, team officials said Reid would compete for a starting spot at right tackle.
They made good on their prediction on Thursday.
Reid signed his contract after practice had already begun, so he immediately ran to the Ravens’ field house to pass his conditioning test and trotted outside to join his new teammates.
Offensive Line Coach Andy Moeller saw Reid and asked, “Hey, have you stretched yet?”
Reid affirmed, and Moeller threw him directly into the huddle.
“It was trial by fire, sink or swim,” said Reid. “I just have to absorb everything I can, take my licks and learn from it, go out there and perform. Try to get used to the speed and strength of the players. Eventually, I’ll improve but right now it’s a learning experience.”
Right tackle is the position where Michael Oher started 16 games as a rookie in 2009 before moving to the left side full-time.
Now, Reid is taking it upon himself to prove that another rookie can lock down the right side of the Ravens’ young offensive line.
Reid’s attitude will play a big part in that. The knock on Reid from several draft analysts when he came out of Central Florida was that he did not possess a mauler’s mean streak.
Saturday’s full-pads session gave Reid a chance to show his nasty side.
“You definitely have to be tough, but a big part of that is being able to put things behind you,” Reid said. “If you make a mistake, you have to go on to the next play. Every play isn’t going to go my way, but I have to put that behind me, improve and learn.
“I want to go out there and show that I can hang with the tough guys and do this, so they can have faith in me. You’ve got to go out there and push people around. That’s my job.”