Ravens All-Pro guard Yanda lets his play prove his worth
''We'll worry about that when the time comes,'' Yanda said. ''Right now, I'm focused on getting better as a football player and stuff like that. We'll get it done when we get it done.''
When it comes time to work up a contract, the ninth-year guard could remind the Ravens that he's a four-time Pro Bowler. The 6-foot-3, 305-pounder could also point out that he was an Associated Press first-team All-Pro last year, and a second-teamer in 2011 and 2012.
Or, Yanda could just bring Ravens coach John Harbaugh to the negotiating table.
''He's just a special human being and a special player, and he's a Hall of Famer someday,'' Harbaugh said. ''I'm sure glad he's on our team.''
Left tackle Jonathan Ogden played his entire career in Baltimore before being enshrined in the Hall of Fame. No one is comparing Yanda to Ogden just yet, although Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco can't imagine an offensive lineman playing any better.
''The way he just goes out there and how tough he is, it's very impressive,'' Flacco said. ''Playing on the offensive line is all about being physical, but he takes it to another level. Every single play, he just gets after you. He does everything he can from the beginning of the first quarter to the end.''
The NFL doesn't keep statistics that measure the worth of an inside blocker, but when it comes to choosing the best in the league Yanda is certainly in the mix.
Not that he cares.
''Obviously, I take pride in working hard and being the best player I can be, but I'm more worried about the football team and us as an offensive line and us as an offense,'' Yanda said. ''You just go out here and do your job every day to the best of your ability, and you try to be great. I'm not going to lie: I come out here, and I want to be great in everything I do. So, you just work your tail off and you hope that happens.''
Yanda started all 16 games last season, 15 at guard and one at right tackle when the Ravens were lacking at the position. He was clearly the best player on a line that yielded only 19 sacks - second-fewest in the league. Baltimore also set single-season franchise records in points (409) and yards (5,838).
Drafted in third round out of Iowa in 2007, Yanda played in all 16 games as rookie but spent the last 11 games of the 2008 season on injured reserve with torn ligaments in his right knee. He has missed only two games since, although last year he fought through knee and foot injuries to start every game.
This summer he's fully healthy, and hopes to stay that way.
''I feel great - 100 percent,'' Yanda said. ''It's nice to just play football and not have to worry about anything.''
Notes: Harbaugh said left tackle Eugene Monroe would sit out Saturday's preseason game against Washington with a bruised forearm. ''There's not a fracture or anything like that, as far as I know,'' Harbaugh said. ''It should be no problem for the regular season.'' ... Top draft pick Breshad Perriman remained sidelined with knee injury, sustained on the first day of practice, and there is no timetable for the wide receiver's return. `It's just slower healing than they expected,'' Harbaugh said.
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