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Bryant McKinnie: Nobody has told me I'm not the starting LT

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

With Baltimore trading two mid-round draft picks to the Jaguars in exchange for left tackle Eugene Monroe, that must mean current Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie must be wary of how the acquisition will affect his standing on the team.

So far, McKinnie said Thursday after the trade was made official by Monroe passing his physical, he hasn't heard much of anything.

He told reporters that nobody had told him he wasn't still the starting left tackle but that perhaps a trade for him was in the works. He said he was surprised by the trade, but "I've gotten better and better each game."

Last season, McKinnie, who didn't start a single game, helped elevate the Ravens to the Super Bowl title by completely transforming the offensive line in the playoffs and helping quarterback Joe Flacco to the best stretch of his career. But this year has been a different story.

Using Pro Football Focus' metrics, the website ranks him 61st out of 72 tackles in the NFL this year, and in the first four games, 11 quarterback hurries have been charged to him. For the record, Monroe is ranked, ahem, 55th.

McKinnie had a better game in Week 4 vs. the Bills, but overall, he's been disappointing this season. It's almost like, out of sheer frustration with his peformacnes, you'd want to break a bottle over your head at McKinnie's birthday celebration.

“Monroe, 26, is younger, fitter and playing at a higher level than McKinnie, a 34-year-old former Pro Bowl blocker whose play has been sluggish, weight has been too high and whose blocking grades have been too low through four games,” the Baltimore Sun wrote Wednesday. “McKinnie likely will become a backup with the trade, which he's earned through his lackluster play. McKinnie has lacked punch at the point of attack as a run blocker and isn't moving his feet well for the NFL's 28th-ranked running game.”

But McKinnie understands.

“This is business so they're going to do what's best for their business,” he said.

McKinnie, though, might get at least a one-week reprieve. Particularly if Monroe isn't ready to play by Sunday.

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