Monday, October 28, 2019

Baltimore Ravens film shows Marshal Yanda has still got it

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AP | Baltimore Ravens offensive guard Marshal Yanda (73) spikes the football as he celebrates with teammates after running back Mark Ingram (21) scored against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

About 14 months ago, retirement was on the mind of Baltimore Ravens seven-time Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda. Yanda broke his ankle in 2017 and also underwent a procedure on his shoulder, and as the ‘18 season began, the Ravens great said he figured he would end his career if another serious injury or two arrived. But it didn’t. He got through another Pro Bowl season and decided to return in 2019 — and the Ravens are ecstatic about that.

At 35, Yanda is the elder statesmen of a young and unique Baltimore offense. He’s one of its most important players, too, as a right guard with the ability to stand up against pass rushers, clobber defenders in the run game and set the tone for a unit led by quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris said he’s “always glad” Yanda didn’t retire before this season.
“Seven-time Pro Bowler, just his attitude and his energy,” D’Alessandris said. “You see it on Sundays, how he plays, right? Guess what? I see it Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at practice. The same guy. And I see it on Sunday. He displays — he is what he is. He is one hell of a football player.”
Yanda’s dependability and consistent performances provide value to the Ravens. But two plays from Sunday’s win over the Seahawks stood out as specific examples of the affect the veteran offensive guard has on his team, and they both came on during Baltimore’s go-ahead drive in the third quarter.
The first one came on an 8-yard carry for Mark Ingram and it showcased still-impressive set of skills Yanda carries in his 13th NFL season. Watch below. Yanda (No. 73), the only Ravens lineman pulling on the play, makes an athletic and clean move to get out of his stance and sprint to his left. That helps him get position to clear a path Ingram (21).
And just as Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright comes in to try and make a play, Yanda pancakes him with a punishing hit.

From NFL Game Pass

Later in the drive, the Ravens scored a touchdown on a fourth-and-2 from the Seahawks’ 8-yard line when Jackson ran to his left and darted through a hole.
On this play, Baltimore elected not to pull Yanda. Instead, the Ravens sent other lineman running in front of Jackson and asked their most accomplished offensive player to take on the task of blocking 330-pound nose tackle Al Woods.
Had Woods sliced into the backfield or found space to run to his left, perhaps he could’ve disrupted Jackson’s path. But look at how much push Woods is able to generate once Yanda locks in on him — none.

From NFL Game Pass
Yanda still has the athleticism and the strength to hold up against the NFL’s top defensive players and his dependability allows Baltimore to get creative with schemes for the league’s No. 1-ranked rushing offense. Judging by Yanda’s response to Jackson’s touchdown run, the decorated lineman still carries enthusiasm for the game, too.
The Ravens signed Yanda to a contract extension that runs through the 2020 season, but it’s unclear whether he’ll continue playing beyond this year.
What’s certain is that the 2019 Ravens feel fortunate he decided to stick around.

Aaron Kasinitz covers the Baltimore Ravens for PennLive and can be reached at or on Twitter @AaronKazreports. Follow PennLive’s Ravens coverage on Facebook and Youtube.

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