After a season in which Joe Flacco was sacked barely more than once per game, a journeyman running back ran for more than 1,200 yards, and the line blocked for the league's sixth-best rushing attack, the unit that took the worst of the criticism for 2013's 8-8 campaign emerged as a strength last season, and potentially for years to come.
Although offensive tackle Eugene Monroe was rested for one series when rookie James Hurst replaced him and offensive guard Kelechi Osemele was out briefly with an eye injury, the left side of the Ravens¿ offensive line emerged relatively unscathed during their first game back from knee injuries.
The only time reporters typically want to speak with offensive linemen is when things are going bad, like last season when the Ravens had one of the worse running games in the NFL. Times have changed. The Ravens rank in the top 10 in the league in total offense this year.
Jeremy Zuttah's athleticism in the middle of the offensive line has been key to a much-improved Ravens offensive front that has cleared space for the running game and kept quarterback Joe Flacco untouched in Week 2 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But it's moments like that in the meeting room when Zuttah, the de-facto general of the offensive line, impresses them most.
The Ravens pared their roster down to the NFL's required 53-player limit Saturday, choosing to keep two quarterbacks and seven wide receivers and leaving themselves thin at cornerback and along the offensive and defensive lines.