Ravens G Marshal Yanda on Sunday: “That Pittsburgh win was the big one”

September 14, 2011 | Ryan Chell

Ravens coach John Harbaugh and similar coaches around the NFL sometimes institute a policy known as “The 24-hour rule.”

This particular practice essentially allows the team that amount of time to either celebrate or dwell on a win/loss that Sunday before moving on to next week.

24 hours. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds.

And not one minute more.

But rules are meant to be broken right? And what more reason to do so when you annihilate your divisional rivals 35-7?

Ravens guard Marshal Yanda said that there was no better time than Monday to push the envelope.

“We’ve all been there,” Yanda told Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Monday after the Ravens 35-7 victory over the Steelers Sunday. “It’s a huge win. No doubt about it. Everybody was really excited.”

He could tell right off the bat in their film sessions from the lightheartedness and congratulations for guys like Jarret Johnson punishing WR Hines Ward, he knew that the excitement of Sunday couldn’t be contained to a day-long time frame.

“It was great to go over the film, and to watch guys flying around making plays. It’s always good when you get a win, especially against Pittsburgh which is our rivalry,” Yanda said.

Yanda said that win immediately popped up to his all-time favorite one in a Baltimore uniform.

“For me with my career with the Ravens, that Pittsburgh win was the big one as far as getting after them well,” Yanda told Clark.  “And to play that well for a week one game of the season, we couldn’t get off to a better start.”

Yanda was an essential part in the Ravens churning out 170 yards rushing against a stout Steelers defense, including 107 yards from RB Ray Rice.

Photos Courtesy of Rob Carr-Getty Images

That was the game-plan from the start, Yanda admitted.

“We planned on getting after them. But we didn’t think we were going to gash them that much. For Ray to get over 100 and for Ricky to get 60, that’s pretty good versus the Steelers. They usually don’t give up too many yards on the ground, and for us to do that, we’re excited.”

He along with the rest of a veteran offensive line-debuting the likes of tackle Bryant McKinnie and the return of center Matt Birk-also performed the difficult task of protecting quarterback Joe Flacco to its purest form.

Yanda said if there was anyone who deserved profiting off their hard work Sunday, it was Flacco.

“Joe has that quiet calmness to him. We all love Joe, and the man’s a competitor. He’s become quite the tough SOB,” Yanda said. “We love him back there. He’s a great quarterback, and it’s good  to put all that media stuff behind him and to get those people off his back.”

Yanda said he and his fellow offensive linemen were the epitome of what the Ravens had to do as a team.

Trust in each other.

“We knew that he had good players,” Yanda replied. “We all played well. Mike did well at right, and I felt comfortable playing inside. I think we’re going to do some good things this year, and we’re just going to build on it and keep working hard.

Left tackle Bryant McKinnie got a ton of praise thrown his way for his dominance of All-Pro LB James Harrison in run and pass-blocking situations, and the former tackle in Yanda said he knew McKinnie had in it him all along.

“We didn’t have to say anything to him,” Yanda said of acclimating him to Raven football.  “He knew. He’s a professional. He’s played nine years. He knows what he had to do.”

And Yanda was quick to point out that McKinnie admitted he’s not just there yet. That’s kind of scary if you’re looking at it from a defensive perspective.

“And he’s still working at it. I would definitely say that he’s taking the right steps and that’s he’s going in the right direction. He’s losing the weight, and he’s taking it day-by-day. We didn’t have to say anything to him. He’s a pro and he’s doing well.”

And even if McKinnie doesn’t get to be 100 percent, Yanda still thinks that this could not only be the best line he’s ever played with, but one of the best in the league.

“I would have to think about it, but for right now at the top of my mind, I would say yes. With McKinnie, Birk and Grubby and Mike, that’s a pretty good front five…that’s for sure.”

Clark asked Yanda where that symmetry and cohesion came from for a unit that had not played at all together across the starting five throughout the preseason and with guys in new positions.

Yanda included.

“We all work hard, and it was nice to get after Pittsburgh and just to play our butts off, especially after the lockout and with the fans not knowing what’s going on. To go out there and not miss a beat, that was a hell of a way to start.”

That’s where Yanda said John Harbaugh’s practices made all the difference in the world.

“We work really hard in practice. There are some guys who take practice at half speed trying to get ready for the game by taking it easy. We’re out there practicing hard, and that stuff pays off.”

Yanda’s hope is that they don’t tire out too quickly; instead he hopes a momentous win such as Sunday’s gets them going so fast they can’t stop.

“What’s next is we keep grinding and hopefully get off to a good start,” he said.  “Now we’re just going to keep practicing hard and try to stack wins”

“If you can get off to a fast start, you’re helping your chances as the weeks go on. We’ll just start game-planning for Tennessee, practice hard, and get ready for them.”

WNST thanks Marshal Yanda for joining “The Reality Check” with Glenn Clark! Follow me on Twitter @RyanChell87! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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