Baltimore Ravens

Preston: Ronnie Stanley-Jonathan Ogden relationship could benefit Ravens

Maybe Hall of Fame former Ravens left tackle Jonathan Ogden likes Ronnie Stanley so much because Ogden can help close the swinging door at the position where he had been the anchor for 12 years.

The Ravens have tried several players at the position since Ogden left after the 2007 season, including Bryant McKinnie and Eugene Monroe. But few have had the lasting potential of Stanley, who is entering his second year.


During this offseason, Stanley and Ogden have met up several times in their home city of Las Vegas. They've lifted weights, ate dinner a few times and played some golf.

And of course they've exchanged a lot of ideas, but it's mostly one sided. Ogden is the best to have ever played the game. Stanley is still learning, but the tutor is impressed.


"His pass set is good, his technique is good and if he had not missed four games last year because of injuries, he would have been the best rookie in the league," Ogden said. "I really believe that. He has the right temperament for an offensive lineman. He's going to be around for a long time."

Those are strong words coming from Ogden, who has never been known to exaggerate. It's also a great evaluation for Stanley and the Ravens. As a rookie, Stanley started 12 games and allowed only three sacks.

In the final six games, he allowed only one sacks and seven hurries. That's impressive for a rookie protecting the quarterback's blind side and he justified the Ravens taking him with the sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft.

But the Ravens see and want more out of the 6-foot-6, 320-pound Stanley.

"Ronnie, as you know, is the sixth pick in the draft, so he is super-talented," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He is already a really good player. He had a really good rookie year. But for whom much is given, much is required and expected. We expect him to be a great player. He is pushing himself, and we are pushing him really hard to improve in a couple of different areas.

"I think polishing up his technique in every area — footwork, leverage, hands — he is to that level. There is nothing he is really deficient at, but everything he has to get tighter with in terms of his technique. Also, just his physical nature, his maturity, his strength, his ability to bend, his ability to move his feet and be powerful … Those are things that both on the field and in the weight room we are working on really hard."

According to Ogden, making these corrections is no big deal. As a rookie, Ogden played guard and was moved to left tackle the following season to replace Tony Jones. He'd like to see Stanley become more physical and stronger in the running game, and a strong offseason in the weight room will help.

Stanley was an avid weightlifter while at Notre Dame, but there are limitations because a player can only put in a certain amount of hours. The only limit in the NFL is a player's personal desire.


"All rookies need to work on technique and improving fundamentals," Ogden said. "What Ronnie has already talked to me about, and we're in agreement, is that any player can beat you in this league, so you have to be at the top of your game every week.

"When I think back, the biggest thing I had to work on was overall recognition of defenses and what they were trying to do schematically. In that second year, you start noticing things, like when that linebacker is lined up more to the outside or when that safety is 12 yards off the ball, and what all that means."

There were times, especially early last season, when Stanley struggled because he had on-the-job training. He was playing well until a foot injury sidelined him for four games. But he dominated most of the second half of the season.

Ogden, though, has given Stanley another tip.

"I haven't studied film with him yet, but I told him in that second year that opponents are now studying film of him, and that he can't show a lot of weaknesses or tendencies," Ogden siod.

Stanley likes his tutor. He smiles when talking about his relationship with Ogden and how it started last year once the Ravens drafted him. It is doubtful that he'll ever be as good as Ogden, and maybe no player ever will.

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Stanley might not be able to beat him on the golf course either.

"Yes, we actually went golfing a little together, so that was really fun. He actually came and worked out with me as well," Stanley said. "He hasn't worked out in a while, so we kind of held the workout back a little bit, but it was a cool experience."

Stanley has to have a big season. The Ravens have two holes on the offensive line, at right tackle and center. The best player in the group is Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda and Stanley became a proven commodity last season.

But can he take that next step in 2017?

"I like what we're doing. I like the whole offense and the offensive line as a group as well," Stanley said. "And you know, when we get Marshal back, it's going to be even better. I'm looking forward to what we're going to do this season."