News that Marshal Yanda would start at right tackle and Chris Chester would start at right guard hadn’t started leaking until several hours prior to the Ravens’ season opener against the New York Jets Monday night.
But both players were well-prepared for just such a possibility.
Both players spent last week practicing at their "new" positions. Yanda has made 11 of 21 career starts at right tackle, while Chester has spent more than half of his 38 career starts at right guard.
"It's football," Yanda said. "It's another position. Things are a little different, but it's still football, and you've still got to block guys and stay on them. It's just a little different technique-wise, but it's still football."
Chester said the duo benefitted from the long week of practice afforded by the season opener being scheduled for Monday night.
"We had a longer week with the Monday night game, and that definitely helped," he said. "There was that time to kind of knock the rust off. I felt pretty good tonight, and I think Marshal did, too."
That doesn't mean that Yanda and Chester were flawless. Yanda did allow Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis to get past him, sack, and strip quarterback Joe Flacco of the ball on the Ravens' opening possession. And Chester was flagged once for holding.
But it was otherwise a decent start for the duo. And opening on the road in a hostile environment could help them if they make starts at those same positions against the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.
"We played hard, we played tough, and we stuck it out and stayed the course," Yanda said. "So it was a great win for us."
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