3 Emerging Ravens Training Camp Sleepers
By Brett Foote
Oct 20, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens guard Kelechi Osemele (72) blocks Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel (99) during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Left guard Kelechi Osemele is seemingly a forgotten component of the Raven’s offensive line after going down early last season with a herniated disc in his back. Now fully recovered from surgery, Oseleme has told reporters that he “hasn’t felt this good since college,” and he quite possibly hasn’t looked as good in his pro career as he has so far in training camp.
Osemele is crushing some pretty talented guys so far, putting the likes of Haloti Ngata, Brandon Williams, and Josh Bynes on their back sides while delivering crushing blocks. And not only is he showing power and athleticism at the line of scrimmage, but Osemele is impressing in the screen game and getting downfield as well.
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The coaching staff, including Gary Kubiak, has been raving about Osemele’s work so far. “I was telling John [Harbaugh] the other night: ‘You know, I think we’ve got a chance to be a pretty good screen team”, Kubiak told reporters. “Our guards not only are big and physical, but they can get out and run. [Kelechi Osemele] has made some really impressive plays downfield [while] chasing a ball. I know he was beat up last year and hurt, but we need to keep him healthy. With he and Marshal [Yanda] in there, in this league, you’ve got to feel very good about that group. So we’re excited about our inside right now, and we’ve got to keep our five guys healthy and find some depth along the way.”
So while the return of Marshal Yanda is getting most of attention along the offensive line, we can confidently tell you not to sleep on Kelechi Osemele. Or you might end up on your back side.