Ravens Player Profile: G Marshal YandaPosted on July 25, 2014 by Rob Michels
Like most of the Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Yanda had a down season in 2013. I know his accolades speak differently after being named to his third straight Pro Bowl and All Pro team, but compared to seasons past Yanda wasn’t the same player.
Entering the 2013 season Yanda had offseason surgery on his rotator cuff. He entered camp with scar tissue problems and a grueling rehab assignment. He reassured us all of his toughness by grinding out 16 starts and still playing Pro Bowl caliber football. After six years with the Ravens we have learned to expect more from Yanda then his tough 2013 season.
Pro Football Focus had an overall grade of 12.5 and ranked Yanda as the 15th guard in football. Not too shabby for a third round pick out of Iowa. The problem is Yanda has outperformed those numbers his entire career. He had a negative grade in 6 of his 16 starts and wasn’t his dominating self-most of the season.
In 2012, PFF ranked Yanda as the 2nd best guard in football with an overall grade of 33.4. Not to mention in 2011, PFF gave him a grade of 33.0 and ranked him as the 3rd guard in the NFL. When looking even further back to his rookie year in 2007, Yanda had a PFF grade of 25.2 and he started that season at right tackle, where he graded out as the 5th best tackle in football.
Even with the numbers not adding up to past seasons Yanda was still pretty darn good last year. He had a PFF grade of 9.5 for the run game and a 4.8 grade on pass protection. He did struggle with penalties accumulating eight in 2013. An improved offensive line should help him decrease the number of penalties and help him in pass protection.
Before last season you could argue that Yanda was the most complete lineman in football and most consistent. I usually don’t let a lot of players make excuses but Yanda could argue that injuries and a depleted offensive line were to blame for his minor struggles.
Yanda blames the lack of lifting during the season for the 2013 season, "Last year at this time I wasn’t even lifting yet, and this year now I’ve been lifting for a long time and feeling good. You can’t change that, so you just take it one day at a time. You approach it as a pro and you get after it.”
Yanda has 99 career games under his belt and 88 of those starting on the Ravens offensive line. Last season was a tough year for Yanda and Ravens fans should fully expect a bounce back year from him.
Last year was a tough year for Yanda and the entire offensive line in Baltimore. With a healthy offseason and the addition of Jeremy Zuttah to go along with a healthy Kelechi Osemele, Yanda should return to pre-2013 form.
So far this offseason Yanda has felt healthy and fresh. He did not report to any OTAs or voluntary camps but plans on arriving at training camp on time. Yanda is the most respected lineman on the team and will again be the captain across the line.
It will be exciting to see how Yanda works with first year starter Rick Wagner on the right side. Both have similar personalities as hard nose and tough football players. I expect the Ravens to feel comfortable running behind the right side of the line.
The front office made it clear the Ravens needed more weapons for quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense to run smoothly. Adding veterans Steve Smith and Owen Daniels will go a long way but a healthy Yanda could be the biggest acquisition.
After a horrible showing in 2013 the Ravens offensive line should be much better in 2014. Wagner is a question mark but the coaches like what they’ve seen from him and haven’t added a veteran to challenge him. Zuttah should make much better calls across the line of scrimmage too and help the interior. The left side of the offensive line is exciting with Eugene Monroe and Osemele working together for the first time.
The glue holding down everything is Yanda. He is one of the best players in Ravens history and has been underrated most of his career. He is a top five offensive linemen in the league and now healthy should be outstanding in 2014.
Yanda signed a 5 year, $32 million dollar contract back in 2011 and for the most part deserves every dollar. He was recently ranked as the 55th best player in the NFL by NFL Network’s Top 100 Series (please check out video). ESPN also recently ranked Yanda as the 2nd most important player on the Ravens roster.