Late For Work 6/14: Something Deeper Going On With Bryant McKinnie?

K.O. out until training camp, rookie WRs stole the show, Tucker beat Cundiff from long range?

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, June 14th, 2012 at 9:12 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

‘Weird’ To Hold Out McKinnie, Team Becoming Disenchanted?

Left tackle Bryant McKinnie has not been participating in mandatory minicamp practice at the direction of the coaching staff.

The team felt it was better that McKinnie not practice for conditioning reasons, which is a decision that’s John Eisenberg calls “weird,” especially considering the Ravens gave him a $500,000 roster bonus in March with the understanding that he would be in better shape.

The columnist wonders if there is something deeper going on.

“They didn’t comment further, but the only way to take it is they aren’t happy with his conditioning,” Eisenberg wrote. “[I]t could be they’re becoming disenchanted with him.

“Michael Oher is filling the No. 1 left tackle spot at minicamp this week, with Jah Reid moving into Oher’s previous spot at right tackle. That’s Plan B, and don’t be shocked if it becomes permanent. The Ravens want McKinnie, but if they’re still unhappy with him in a couple of months, his roster spot could be in jeopardy.”

No Coincidence Team Signed Wragge

The same day the Ravens announced the signing of 32-year-old center Tony Wragge, reporters discovered starter Matt Birk would not be attending mandatory minicamp because of minor surgery to repair varicose veins in his legs.

Eisenberg says the two occurrences must be related.

“The team wouldn’t have signed [Birk] to a new three-year deal in February if it didn’t expect him to continue to start,” he wrote. “But it wasn’t a coincidence that the team also signed veteran Tony Wragge, who can provide an alternative if Birk’s injuries add up.”

Osemele Out Until Training Camp

Second-round pick Kelechi Osemele is out until training camp, according to

He has been sidelined for the past couple weeks with an undisclosed injury, which turned out to be a quadriceps injury, says Aaron Wilson of The Carroll County Times. He added that Osemele should be fine when camp opens on July 25.

It’s unknown if Osemele could have returned before then. The rookies have a football school next week, but beyond that, the Ravens don’t have any more scheduled football activities until the start of training camp.

With the rookie down,’s Josh Alper believes newly signed veteran Bobbie Williams’ chances at the starting left guard spot are looking better.

But even if there were no injury, Williams would still be considered the favorite.

“Harbaugh went to lengths to state that newly-signed veteran Bobbie Williams would compete for the starting job with [Jah] Reid and rookies Kelechi Osemele and Gino Gradkowski,” wrote Eisenberg. “But Reid could be the right tackle, Osemele and Gradkowski have never played an NFL snap, and Williams is a rugged old pro who could step in tomorrow.

“Barring something drastic, he has the job.”

Tucker Beat Cundiff From Long Range?

The kicker competition continues to get interesting.

Rookie Justin Tucker bested veteran Billy Cundiff from long range yesterday, according to’s Jason Butt.

Butt reported that Cundiff missed three kicks on a tee from 50 yards to the right while Tucker drilled a 54-yarder “with room to spare” during team drills.

Many times reporters will watch various drills throughout practice, which may explain why our own Ryan Mink has a different account:

“Cundiff was good from 40 and 51 yards. Rookie Justin Tucker was good from 41, 48, 44 and 54 yards. Neither missed a field-goal attempt.” Those kicks were during team drills.

Ray Rice Ranked 22nd Best Player In NFL



Ray Rice Top 100

Just get him the ball.

That was Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor’s advice for the Ravens.

Just give the ball to running back Ray Rice and you will inflict pain upon opponents.

Current NFL players ranked Rice as 22nd-best on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 (even though fullback Vonta Leach thinks he should have been rated even higher).

I’m honored to be in the top 25 best players in the NFL,” Rice tweeted after his ranking was revealed last night along with the other athletes listed between Nos. 21-30:

21: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski
22: Ravens RB Ray Rice
23: Patriots WR Wes Welker
24: Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul
25: Texans RB Arian Foster
26: Bears DE Julius Peppers
27: Packers LB Clay Mathews
28: 49ers RB Frank Gore
29: Steelers LB James Harrison
30: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

In the video, Taylor, who knows what it’s like to play against Rice at least two times year, explains that as Rice goes, so does the Ravens offense.

“The stats showed when Ray Rice got the ball, they won. When he didn’t get the ball, they lost,” he said.

“So when they did start giving Ray Rice the ball more and more throughout the year, you start seeing the clock going down, you start seeing Flacco throwing play-action passes, you start seeing t. Smith getting the ball deeper – all because of Ray Rice.”

Rookie WRs ‘Stole The Show’ In Practice

Well that name is popping up again – Deonte Thompson.

He’s the popular pick among media to become the next rookie free-agent to make the roster as a long shot.

Sixth-round draft pick Tommy Streeter is another popular player who fans can’t seem to get enough updates about.

The two rookie wide receivers “stole the show” at practice yesterday in Owings Mills, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Thompson hauled in two long touchdown passes, one of which had Anquan Boldin and fullback Vonta Leach taunting linebacker Ray Lewis.  Meanwhile, Streeter made a few “acrobatic” grabs, including one in the back corner of the end zone. To celebrate, Streeter punted the ball about 20 yards straight up into the sky.

“Streeter won’t be able to make the team as a backup punter, but if he can show signs this summer that he has the hands and leaping ability to be a target for fades in the end zone – a dimension that could help the Ravens score more touchdowns in the red zone – it certainly won’t hurt his chances of making the squad,” wrote The Sun’s Matt Vensel.

Quick Hits

  • Paul Kruger faces the daunting task of replacing Terrell Suggs on the Ravens defense, but right now, he doesn’t fill the same role as Suggs on all three downs. For now, rookie Courtney Upshaw fills Suggs’ weakside linebacker spot on first and second downs, while Kruger takes Jarret Johnson’s strongside position. On third downs, they switch. “My job is actually different from what Suggs does on regular downs,” Kruger explained. “I’m dropping into coverage a lot, moving around and doing a lot of the tight-end stuff. On third downs, I’ll be getting after the quarterback like I was last year, but I have more of a SAM linebacker position right now.” []
  • RavensInsider: Terrell Suggs is scheduled to talk with Baltimore reporters following the Ravens’ minicamp practice [Thursday]. [Twitter]
  • Ravens: Last year, Sizzle signed this in our office. Yesterday, he came in and made an addition. #DPOY [Twitter]
  • For all you Michael McAdoo fans (and we know you’re out there, because we hear from you often), the linebacker cleared waivers, allowing him to be placed on the Ravens’ injured reserve list. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Rice will have his high school number, No. 5, retired by the City School District of New Rochelle (N.Y.) on Saturday. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • TorreySmithWR: Throwing the First pitch at the O’s game tomorrow [vs. Pittsburgh Pirates] #hypetweet [Twitter]
  • RavensInsider: Cut by the Ravens this week, rookie defensive lineman Elliott Henigan went unclaimed on waivers [Twitter]
  • Kevin Cowherd says it’s time that Ed Reed makes up his mind. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • The Ravens will offer a new Bud Light Zone at M&T Bank Stadium this season as part of a continuing move to ramp up hospitality options for businesses. [Baltimore Business Journal]

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