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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Right Guard Marshal Yanda Wins Team MVP





December 30, 2015
By Garrett Downing

Marshal Yanda has arguably been the Ravens’ best overall player for the last few seasons.

And on Wednesday he received much-deserving recognition as the Ravens’ Most Valuable Player for the 2015 season.


The award is voted on by the local media, and this is the first year the veteran offensive lineman has received it.

“It’s a good honor, that’s for sure,” Yanda said. “We all want to be great at our jobs, and it’s great to be recognized. Obviously you understand that you don’t get there alone. Obviously football is the ultimate team sport, and I just feel like it’s all of us together as a group out there wanting to be great.”

Yanda, 31, has clearly established himself as one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. His five Pro Bowl selections put him in an exclusive group along with other franchise greats like Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata.

His selection as team MVP comes in a year where his durability is particularly impressive. Yanda has missed just two games the last seven years, and he hardly missed a snap in a season where the Ravens finished with 20 players on injured reserve.


“I’ve had some luck involved with that, and I’ve also played through a lot of stuff too,” Yanda said. “You’re going to get hurt no matter what in this business, so it’s just a matter of having to play through injuries because your team needs you. You just owe it to the guy next to you.”

The other finalists for the award included wide receiver Kamar Aiken, defensive tackle Brandon Williams, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil and punter Sam Koch.

In addition to the vote for Yanda as MVP, cornerback Jimmy Smith was selected as the team’s Media Good Guy. This award is given to a player who makes himself readily available to media members and also provides quality material or information.

Smith has been one of the go-to veteran players for quotes throughout the season, and his wit often makes for entertaining podium sessions or group interviews.

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