OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens ran out of patience waiting for their lackluster offensive line to become an effective group.
After watching the Ravens yield 12 sacks and average a scant 64 yards rushing during the first four games, general manager Ozzie Newsome obtained left tackle Eugene Monroe from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a pair of draft picks.
"It's a sign that this football team wants to win and we want to win now," defensive lineman Chris Canty said Wednesday. "We're not going to accept anything less than championship performance. Hopefully he comes in here and puts us in a better position to win."
The trade had not been formally finalized by Wednesday afternoon, so Monroe did not practice with the team. But coach John Harbaugh expects the 6-foot-5, 305-pounder to immediately challenge Bryant McKinnie for the starting job at left tackle.
"Obviously, we're bringing Eugene in to play," Harbaugh said. "How soon that can happen remains to be seen. The main thing is, it makes us better almost immediately in terms of adding a football player of that quality to our team. We'll just figure it out. We'll fit it together to use these guys the best way we can."
McKinnie was a key figure in Baltimore's run to a Super Bowl title last year. Although he's struggled at times this season, the 12-year veteran is far from being the sole reason for the inadequate performance of the offensive line.
Second-year center Gino Gradkowski is still getting used to calling the blocking assignments on the line. And everyone up front is adjusting to Juan Castillo, who's in his first year as run game coordinator.
But Ray Rice, who has a meager 89 yards in 30 carries this year, openly questioned the determination of the offensive line.
Asked how the line can match its performance of a year ago, Rice replied, "We have to match the other team's intensity to be effective in the run game. Sometimes a guy wants it a little bit more on the other side. That's what we have to do, we have to fight that. We have to match the other team's intensity."