The Ravens have been looking a bit thin at offensive tackle here leading up to the start of the regular season, with Oneil Cousins proving to everybody that he has no business garnering even a hint of consideration to play the position, and rookie Jah Reid most likely not completely ready to step in and take on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pass rushers on his own in week 1.
Well, they’ve addressed the issue this weekend, adding not one but two veteran offensive tackles.
The first was former New England Patriot Mark LeVoir. Levoir played his college ball at Notre Dame, and was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2006. He is plenty big enough over there, at 6’7″ 310 lbs. For the past three seasons, LeVoir played 32 games for the Patriots, including all 16 (two starts at RT) in 2008.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times, LeVoir reportedly refused to take a pay cut to stay in New England.
For what it’s worth, in the two games LeVoir started in 2008, Matt Cassel was sacked a total of nine times. I can’t tell from the NFL.com box scores how many of those LeVoir was responsible for but…well, there you have it.
Again: I have absolutely no context for those stats or their relation to Mark LeVoir. Don’t quote me as saying he’s a bum, or that he gave up 9 sacks in two games. Just presenting the facts.
The other guy the Ravens signed was former Tennessee Titan Jason Murphy.
Aaron Wilson had this to say about the center-guard:
Murphy is a Baltimore native who played collegiately at Virginia Tech.
Murphy, 29, is a 6-foot-2, 304-pounder who has previously played for the Titans, San Diego Chargers and the Seattle Seahawks, spending time on various practice squads.
He has also played in the United Football League with the New York Sentinels and Florida Tuskers.
He was also First-Team All ACC in 2005. I was hoping to expand on the whole “Baltimore Native” thing – maybe find out where he went to high school – but I can’t seem to find much information. According to Jason’s page at NFL.com, he has never so much as appeared in a regular season game. (If any of you know where Murphy went to high school or can provide any more accurate NFL information, let me know).
Update: Murphy went to Edmondson High School. Thanks to reader Matt for the heads up. He was also the Baltimore Sun’s defensive player of the year in 2001. For more info, see this post from WNST.net. It’s two years old, but it goes into some nice detail of the charity work that Murphy is (was?) involved in locally.
Hopefully LeVoir and Murphy can show something in the coming weeks, and can help solidify what remains quite a shaky situation up front for the Ravens.