McKinnie has cut weight, plans to cut more

Reporters were obviously not in the room when Bryant McKinnie took his physical after signing with the Ravens, so we have no idea for sure how much the burly offensive tackle weighs.

But according to McKinnie, he checked in at 370 lbs., which is 17 lbs. lighter than he weighed when he was released by the Vikings earlier this month. He plans to shed another 15 lbs. or so, which would get him down to his playing weight.

"I play at like 355, not 335," McKinnie said, disputing a report that he had ballooned nearly 65 pounds this offseason. "I haven't been that since college - my junior year."

The Ravens' new tackle is a big man - that's an understatement when you're talking about a guy who is 6-foot-8, 370-lbs. - but he doesn't look out-of-control big in person.

McKinnie took part in his first practice with the team today, lining up at left tackle, moving Michael Oher to right.

Before the session, McKinnie said he doesn't expect to have much trouble acclimating to the Ravens' offense because of his time spent in a similar system under former Vikings head coach Mike Tice. Getting comfortable playing next to his new offensive linemen, however, will take some work.

"It will probably take me a few days - about three or four days - just to get the communication together," McKinnie said. "Playing with my new guard (Ben Grubbs) and everything. From there, we will just progress and get better."

The thought of someone lining up against Steelers linebacker James Harrison and trying to protect Joe Flacco's blind side without a full knowledge of the playbook and scheme is a scary one. So, with just 15 days until the Ravens' regular season opener against Pittsburgh, the onus will be on McKinnie, Grubbs and offensive line coach Andy Moeller to try and get McKinnie up to speed quickly.

"That's my job, and that's Ben Grubbs' job when he is out on the field with him," Moeller said. "That's what we get paid to do, and I feel that - just in the few days that he has been here - he will be ready to go. He is a pro. He will be ready to go. He is a great player. He is plenty bright enough. He just comes from a little bit of a different system, so the terminology and stuff will take a little bit of time, but he will be ready to roll."

McKinnie has had a number of off-field issues in his nine years in the NFL, including the infamous "Love Boat" incident and multiple street fights. He maintains that he's matured as the years have gone on, however, and says the days of making headlines for his actions off the field are over.

"I'm actually more quiet and laid-back than people think," McKinnie said. "It's just little things here and there that used to pop up in my past. It's nothing like that I see happening anymore."

So what can Ravens fans expect out of McKinnie, a guy who brings plenty of talent and plenty of question marks with him to Baltimore?

"A dominant player that is trying to be the best at his position," McKinnie said. "I have a lot of motivation so you are definitely going to see a lot of pancake (blocks) this year."

Go ahead, make your pancake jokes now.

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