|The Ravens are planning to make tweaks to their offensive line, and that could mean more playing time for Jah Reid, a second-year player who has seen time at both tackle and guard. (US Presswire)|
The Ravens offensive line may have a slightly different look this Sunday against Cleveland.
In what could be a third different on-field lineup, second-year lineman Jah Reid is expected to earn playing time at left guard. Reid has been practicing at that position this week as the Ravens coaching staff is looking to get a feel for what its 2011 third-round draft pick can do.
Reid was sidelined for the first portion of the season with a strained calf. The injury kept him inactive for each of Baltimore's first seven games. On Sunday, it looks like Reid will be active for the first time this season.
However, all signs point to the offensive line working in a rotation. Veteran Bobbie Williams is still expected to start at left guard against the Browns.
"Whatever coach decides is fine," Williams said. "However it goes, if it's something that can help the team, then that's what it's all about. We're making sure the team is good to go."
On Monday, coach John Harbaugh mentioned there could be some tweaks with the offensive line, though he said there would not be "wholesale changes."
"We're always trying to look at the best lineup that we can put on the field at any particular time and getting as many good players involved as we possibly can," Harbaugh said. "There are young guys on the offensive line that we want to look at. There are veteran guys that can help us in doing different things. I just think that football is kind of evolving into where you have to try to get as many players involved as you can."
Reid, who played college football at Central Florida, was drafted initially to be a tackle, and he started three preseason games in 2011 at right tackle. However, by the time the regular season started, then-free agent acquisition Bryant McKinnie was starting at left tackle and Michael Oher was moved to the right. Reid did work as a tackle-eligible tight end as the season progressed.
Late last season, Reid began practicing at guard and was deemed the early favorite to be the starting left guard after Ben Grubbs left for New Orleans in free agency. Then the Ravens drafted Kelechi Osemele in the second round and signed Williams. During the last day of mandatory minicamp, Reid injured his calf and has had two setbacks since.
Now that he's 100 percent, he's hoping to step in and contribute along the line.
"It's good not to be injured any more," Reid said. "I'm pumped about that. I feel like my old self moving out there."
Reid said he has adjusted to playing guard and said that the biggest challenge is going against bigger and stronger linemen than he'd see at tackle. Reid is an athletic tackle with the ability to bend and gain leverage, which makes it worthwhile for the Ravens to give him a shot at playing guard.
"(The coaches) mix it up and everybody has to be able to play a different position," Reid said. "They've tried different positions, and I just have to be able to work at every position. Hopefully they can use me somewhere."
Despite the success the Ravens offensive line has had running the ball (only three negative rushes to the left), it has surrendered 18 sacks, which is the 12th most in the NFL. Four of those sacks came in Baltimore's first meeting against Cleveland in Week 4.
Reid will be the third player to work in at left guard this season; Williams and Ramon Harewood have been the other two. Harewood was benched after Week 5 in favor of Williams.
Reid believes his opportunity to play is coming. If given the chance, he's hoping to help an offensive line in need of better pass protection.
"I see every week as an opportunity to get better and earn my way on the field," Reid said. "The amount of work is the same as I've been doing and, hopefully, I'll get on the field, earn some reps and help my team."