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Could Reid Be The Answer At Guard?

If unrestricted Ben Grubbs doesn’t return, could tackle Jah Reid step into the starting role?

Posted by Ryan Mink on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

The Ravens have a big question at left guard this offseason with Ben Grubbs being an unrestricted free agent.

If Grubbs doesn’t return next season, could second-year tackle Jah Reid handle the role as starting right guard?

Taken in the third round of last April’s NFL Draft, Reid played sparingly at right tackle this past season, used almost exclusively in jumbo packages.

But he’s a player Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said he’s “really excited about.”

Newsome was asked whether he would be comfortable with Reid playing guard if Grubbs didn’t return.

“The thing that Steve pushed John [Harbaugh] and I the last couple of years is, ‘Don’t be afraid to play young players,’” Newsome said at the season-ending press conference last Wednesday.

“We’ve had Jah now for a year, and now we’ve got him for a full offseason and OTAs and stuff like that, so John and I are not afraid.”

As Newsome said, Harbaugh will make the ultimate decision on whether Reid can play at guard.

Reid (6-foot-7, 335 pounds) said he did practice some at multiple positions, and his aim for next season is to become a more integral part of the offensive line.

“Of course I want to start,” Reid said. “That’s what I came here to do. There’s going to be a lot of changes on the team; that’s how the business works. I’m just going to prepare myself to play any position they need me to.”

The Ravens traded up five spots in the 2011 NFL Draft to snatch Reid, parting with their third- and sixth-round picks to do so. Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the time that he was a little bit developmental, and “he’s big, he can bend, he’s very physical and he’s on the upswing.”

Reid spent much of last training camp at right tackle with the first-team offense, partly because of the lack of bodies at practice, but also because of his fast growth. He likely would have started had Baltimore not signed Bryant McKinnie just weeks before the season started.

As a result, Reid was allowed to further develop. He was still active for all 16 games this season.

“I think I got a good foundation,” Reid said the day after Baltimore’s playoff exit. “The coaches ingrained as much of the system as they could in me.

“[I improved] everywhere; in the book, physically, technique, all around. But there’s always room for more improvement. This offseason I’ll be able to focus on the things I learned and come in ready next year.”

Reid went back home to Florida as almost all players scattered for some relaxation. But he said he plans on attending all of the Ravens’ offseason weight program, which starts in mid-April, and the camps.

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