Ravens finally find right combination on offensive line

You could tell this group was in a groove because these guys were chuckling while smacking around the Colts.

"No, I wasn't shocked that I started because they had to watch the film from last week," McKinnie said. "I know how I played. I've been working with K.O. all year and told him that we could mash some people if we got out there together. I told them we could just blow people off the ball.

"If K.O. keeps getting his reps, I know he is going to be a good tackle," McKinnie said. "If he keeps getting his reps, he will become a great guard."

Maybe the Ravens coaching staff is listening now. It was early in the preseason when Osemele said he preferred to play guard instead of tackle because pass rushers in the NFL were too fast.

There is also enough evidence or film now to prove that Oher, who made his share of mistakes Sunday, is better on the right side than on the left because he doesn't have the finesse or body type to handle that position.

But this was never about Oher vs. McKinnie. It was always about the Ravens upgrading the offensive line overall. The weakest person in the middle right now appears to be Birk, but he can get help on both sides from Yanda or Osemele.

Just about all the starters on offense and defense want this group to start against Denver Saturday, and some of them didn't mind saying so after Sunday's game.

"They say they want to start the best five, and this is the best five," Osemele said.

McKinnie said: "I didn't start the last game against Denver but we'll have a different game plan for this one. It's like getting beat up in a fight. You want to go out and fight them again. I look forward to it. There can't be any changes now."

It's pretty much a slam dunk that this has to be the starting five because Birk, the elder statesman, gave his endorsement.

"It's a tough situation for them personally, but it's probably the best situation for us as an offense to have those five guys out there," Birk said.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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