Scott Kooistra isn't a four-time Pro Bowler. But the newest Raven is taking the locker of a four-time Pro Bowler who left the team last week.
Kooistra, an offensive lineman signed by the Ravens today, has been assigned the former locker of Trevor Pryce, who left to join the Jets a week ago.
No pressure, dude.
Kooistra is an eight-year veteran, who has spent his entire career in the AFC North. He played seven years with the Bengals and spent some time with the Browns as well.
"He's been around and been in this division," head coach John Harbaugh said today. "He's a good, hardnosed offensive lineman. We needed some help in the offensive line, numbers-wise, so that will help us. And he's a good player. He fits us."
"It's very exciting for me, coming in here," Kooistra said. "It seems like a great group of guys. They're very welcoming, helping me out to learn the system. The coaches have all been very helpful filling me in on what I need to know on the schemes and how they do things here. It just seems like a very exciting attitude, very upbeat. The coaches are really emphasizing being champions and practicing like champions and acting like a champion."
Kooistra can play both guard and tackle, and while he's not expected to see time on the offensive side of the ball unless a couple guys get bit by the injury bug, it helps to have another guy with some versatility.
"Right now, I'm just kind of filling in on the scout team and showing them a look and learning my plays and doing everything they want me to do," Kooistra said. "I can adjust, I can play on the right, left, tackle, guard. Wherever they need me, that's what I'm willing to do. Whatever they want. I'm not really concerned with that. I'm concerned with learning the system as fast as possible."
Kooistra tried out for the Vikings last week, and said he thought the tryout went well. He didn't hear back from the team after the workout, however. He then got a call from the Ravens on Monday, flew into Baltimore, and after the tryout, was signed onto the 53-man roster.
As for him taking Pryce's locker, Kooistra said that was news to him.
"I had no idea whose locker they gave me," Kooistra said. "I really don't know what happened with that situation. I'm happy to be here and ready to get to work."