Thursday, November 14, 2019

News & Notes: Marshal Yanda Is Having a Blast in His 13th Season

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 04:24 PM

Clifton Brown

Halfway through his 13th season, Marshal Yanda is having one of his best and most enjoyable years.

When the Ravens drafted Yanda, Lamar Jackson was just 10 years old. Now they are teammates and despite their age difference, Yanda and Jackson share a bond as teammates – the veteran guard who loves Jackson’s competitiveness and talent, and Jackson,[comma] who values Yanda’s presence as one of the NFL’s best offensive linemen.

After Sunday’s win over the Bengals, Yanda said Jackson is “ridiculous.” On Wednesday, Jackson returned the compliment.

“It starts with the line, I need my linemen to love me, protect me,” Jackson said. “I’d rather them not hate me. It starts with him. He’s the O.G. the G.O.A.T, future Hall of Famer. I need to send him off right. Get a Super Bowl, I’ll be set.”

The idea of winning another Super Bowl sounds good to Yanda, who made one of his seven Pro Bowls in 2012 when the Ravens won their last championship. Yanda thought about calling it quits after last season, but after entering the offseason healthy, he instead signed a one-year contract extension to keep him in Baltimore through 2020.

He’s having a blast, largely because the Ravens are having success.

“We’re winning,” Yanda said. “That’s what we’re all paid to do here. We’ve won some really big games as of late. To win those big games is something I’m relishing.”

Yanda also loves the shot of adrenaline he gets from playing with Jackson. He was totally on board with Jackson in Seattle two weeks ago, when Jackson came to the sidelines and vehemently urged Head Coach John Harbaugh to go for it on fourth down, leading to Jackson’s 8-yard touchdown run on the next play.

This past weekend in Cincinnati, Yanda got a kick out of watching Jackson wearing sunglasses on the sideline, something Yanda said he would never do.

Winning another Super Bowl would only strengthen Yanda’s resume as a potential Hall of Famer. Harbaugh is glad that the Ravens’ five-game winning streak is bringing Yanda more attention.

“Marshal, in my mind, is a Hall of Fame player,” Harbaugh said. “If you’re going to make the Hall of Fame as an offensive lineman, you’ve probably got to play your Hall of Fame level at the end when people are watching. Because for most of your career, most people, including the media believe it or not, don’t pay attention to those guys up front. I believe Marshal’s doing that at the highest level. I think he’s playing some of his best football, if not his best football, right now.”

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