Jah Reid has passed Bobbie Williams as the Ravens continue to search for a left guard. After Bobbie Williams struggled in his first two starts of the season, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that he would continue to shuffle his starting offensive line until a group clicked. Williams remained at left guard for the 25-15 victory over the Cleveland Browns in Week 9 and got the start against the Oakland Raiders despite an ankle injury that forced him to miss snaps in practice. But Williams lasted just two series before leaving the game -- something that Harbaugh said had been in the plans all week. "It was a chance for us to rest him, and Jah Reid has really been coming on and practicing well," Harbaugh said. "What Jah needs is playing time. He needs experience. He needs snaps on the field. So it was our plan to start him out there in the third series no matter what and then play him as much we could." Harbaugh remarked that Reid played well Sunday. And Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco didn't wind up on his back even once, so that's a pretty good sign that the offensive line was on the same page. But it's too soon to tell what the Ravens have in Reid. A towering former offensive tackle whom the Ravens drafted in the third round in 2011, Reid was penciled in as the team's starting left guard once Pro Bowler Ben Grubbs signed with the New Orleans Saints this spring. But Reid's performance in spring workouts was underwhelming, and then he suffered a calf injury that sidelined him throughout training camp and the preseason and into the regular season. Ramon Harewood was a surprise starter in Week 1 before Williams replaced him in Week 5. It's clear that right now, neither is the answer. Harewood has potential, but is still raw. Williams is a great dude with an enviable handshake that nearly broke my hand back in June, but he very much looks like a 36-year-old who is coming off major ankle surgery. The coaching staff is clearly high on Reid -- and offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie has not performed well enough in practice to warrant making sweeping changes along the line -- so I'm anxious to see what they see in Reid, who, at 6-7, would be one of the tallest guards in the NFL. The injury to Williams opened the door for him in Sunday's 55-20 win, but it sounds like the Ravens had been leaving it ajar all along.
Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam