Orlando Brown spent most of his career playing for the Baltimore Ravens—he was originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns before they moved and changed their name, but then spent one more year there in a year in which Keith Butler was on the staff.
Brown’s son, of course, has already established himself at right tackle for the past few years for the Ravens, even earning All-Pro status last year. Now, however, he is tasked with moving from right tackle to left tackle for the remainder of the season following Ronnie Stanley’s season-ending ankle injury.
In spite of the fact that he grew up admiring his father and studying his work playing at right tackle, however, it was his father’s teammate, Jonathan Ogden whom he studied most, the franchise’s first-ever draft pick and a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame left tackle. He feels he’s ready for this assignment.
Brown actually played a game at left tackle earlier this season when Stanley had to sit out a game due to a minor injury, and at the time he talked to the team’s website about his admiration of Ogden and his desire to play on the left side.
“I’ve always wanted to play left tackle for this organization. That was something that me and my dad and my mom talked about growing up”, he said. “It kind of sparked my love for football seeing Jonathan Ogden play the position and everything he did here, and what he meant to the organization. My dad playing right tackle, he always understood the importance of a left tackle. From an early age, he groomed me to play that position”.
He will get a nine-game audition over the course of the remainder of the regular season to showcase that he has the ability to transition to the left side on a more permanent basis. But if he does do that—it almost surely would not come with the Ravens, who just signed Stanley to a five-year contract extension that pays him very nearly $20 million per season.
But Brown actually played left tackle in college. And he was the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year multiple times. He got plugged into the right tackle spot because the Ravens already had Stanley. Of course, there were also questions about his athleticism, and traditionally, the right tackle has tended to be less of an athlete.
The thing here is not about Brown moving from the right side to the left side, though. It’s the fact that D.J. Fluker is now the Ravens’ right tackle for the rest of the season, and that is definitely a downgrade. It was a major luxury for them to have Brown playing right tackle.