Rick Wagner Has Stepped up for Baltimore Ravens


Remember one of the greatest playoff games of all time, when the Baltimore Ravens went into Mile High Stadium in and upset the heavily favored Denver Broncos in double overtime? I sure do. And it was a game I’m sure offensive tackle Rick Wagner wishes he could’ve played in too.

Remember one of the biggest season opening beatings of all time, when the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens went back to Mile High and were embarrassed by the Broncos 49-27? I’d just as soon forget, but Rick Wagner definitely remembers.

That night, Wagner played his first NFL game as he filled in at tackle for an injured Michael Oher. It was a disaster. Wagner was pushed around all night as he gave up 2.5 sacks, and Joe Flacco was hit ten times.

It now seems so long ago.

Now Oher is in Tennessee (is it too soon to admit I didn’t like The Blindside? Sorry, Michael) and Wagner is starting at tackle. Personally, given his trouble over the years with false starts, I feel it was a good move to let Oher walk and take a chance with Wagner. Rick has been on a mission since to prove he’s the real deal in this league.

And the 6’6″, 310-pound tackle out of Wisconsin has come a long way in just one and a half seasons.

Pro Football Focus ranks Rick Wagner as the fifth-best offensive tackle in the league. He’s easily one of the best offensive lineman the Ravens have. And given all the Ravens’ troubles dealing with injuries, the fact that Wagner has helped this offensive line become one of the best in the league in just his second season is truly impressive.

Wagner will have his hands full Sunday as he faces one of the top 3-4 scheme pass rushers in Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey. Keep an eye on this matchup, Baltimore, as Rick Wagner shows Michael Oher and the rest of us how far he’s come.