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John Harbaugh discusses most difficult roster decisions for the Ravens

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
John Harbaugh: Most difficult roster choices came on offensive line, cornerback, receiver and defensive line.

In his first comments since the Ravens trimmed their roster 53 players, coach John Harbaugh said there were several positions at which the team had tough decisions to make.

"[We] had to think about the offensive line, obviously,” Harbaugh said. “Think about the corner position, wide receiver position. The running back position came into play with Lorenzo [Taliaferro’s] injury. [The] tight end position was fairly well set. Safety position, there was a choice or two to make there. Inside linebacker was pretty well laid out, outside linebacker pretty much laid out. [Defensive] line, we had some decisions to make, we ended up keeping an extra player. I guess that’s my ranking.”

At all of the positions Harbaugh said were difficult, they cut a veteran who was on the Super Bowl team in 2012. Offensive lineman Jah Reid was released and eventually signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving the Ravens with eight offensive linemen. Reserves John Urschel and Ryan Jensen can cover at multiple positions, which Harbaugh said sealed Reid's fate.

“That really played into it,” Harbaugh said. “Jah Reid, I know Jah’s got his detractors in town, but Jah was playing the best football of his career. That’s why so many teams pounced on him. He had his pick. He made a little money by going somewhere else, so good for him. But he was practicing very well. … It just looked like we had enough depth because of the versatility to go a little lighter for the time being on the offensive line and go a little heavier on the D-line.”

On the defensive line, veteran DeAngelo Tyson was released with an injury settlement, while both Christo Bilukidi and Kapron Lewis-Moore, who were thought to be battling for one roster spot, made the team.

Cornerback Asa Jackson was also a surprise cut given his prominence in the returner conversation and Harbaugh indicated both Terrence Magee and Fitzgerald Toussaint had good camps at running back. Both were released, but Magee was back on the active roster Tuesday.

Harbaugh also said some of the team’s safety depth — likely Anthony Levine and Brynden Trawick — stuck around because of what they can do on special teams.

“Special teams plays a huge part of it,” he said. “I think we took that into consideration, big time, especially with the safeties. That was a big part, and also wide receivers [who] played really well on special teams. We were able to keep some guys at wide receiver who contribute on special teams, so that helps.”

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