Craig: McKinnie ignores the party, focuses on the ring

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 1, 2013 - 11:41 AM

 Former Viking Bryant McKinnie isn't tempted by all New Orleans has to offer, not with the Ravens in the Super Bowl.

NEW ORLEANS - The last time Bryant McKinnie left the Vikings practice field in Mankato, he literally had to waddle.

Considerably overweight and out of shape at the end of a long NFL lockout in August of 2011, he barely had the breath to speak as reporters walked with him for what would be his final moments in a Vikings uniform. Within 24 hours, he was released because of his physical condition and, he claims, for rejecting the team's request for him to take a pay cut.

"When I was leaving Mankato that day, I didn't know where I was going," McKinnie said. "I knew I was going to play again. But I didn't know where or what would happen."

McKinnie spoke those words from the floor of the Super- dome during Super Bowl XLVII media day Tuesday. He's still big -- listed at 6-8, 360 pounds -- but he's considerably lighter and obviously in better shape than he was in Mankato 18 months ago.

Oh yeah, he'll also start at left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens when they play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. He was a backup for all 16 regular-season games, but has been an unsung savior since stepping into the starting lineup in the playoffs.

Left guard Jah Reid went down because of a season-ending dislocated toe. So the Ravens moved right tackle Kelechi Osemele to left guard, left tackle Michael Oher to right tackle and brought McKinnie in off the bench.

"Bryant's been a great player in this league for a long time," said Ravens center Matt Birk, who also played with McKinnie for 11 seasons with the Vikings. "The left tackle position, obviously you know how to block guys one-on-one in the pass. Everyone knows [49ers linebacker] Aldon Smith had a great year [19 1/2 sacks], so it'll be two great players going at it over there."

McKinnie has started 147 regular-season games and six in the postseason. A first-round draft pick of the Vikings in 2002, he started all but four games from 2003 until 2010.

McKinnie did no gloating when asked what it felt like to beat the Vikings to the Super Bowl since they released him.

"The Vikings probably will be here eventually, soon, sometime," McKinnie said. "... I'm in a new chapter in my life."

McKinnie ended up in Baltimore -- where he started all 16 games in 2011 -- because of his connections with Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who plays mother hen to all fellow former University of Miami Hurricanes. So when a reporter asked McKinnie to name the greatest accomplishment of Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome's career, McKinnie bypassed Newsome's Hall of Fame career as a tight end and his ground-breaking status as the league's first African-American general manager.

"I'd say his greatest accomplishment is listening to Ray Lewis telling him to bring me here," McKinnie said.

McKinnie let out a hearty laugh as a reporter shifted gears, wanting to know if McKinnie, as a long-time NFL veteran, will be steering Baltimore's younger players away from the temptations presented by the New Orleans nightlife.

And, yes, that was an ironic question, considering McKinnie's many well-publicized transgressions off the field.

He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and being a public nuisance for his role in the Vikings' seedy Love Boat scandal in 2005. The league fined him one game check ($41,000).

In February of 2008, he was arrested after a brawl outside a nightclub in Miami. He was accused of spitting in the face of a bouncer and later clubbing the same bouncer over the head with a heavy pole. McKinnie avoided a trial when a judge ordered him to complete 25 hours of community service and take anger management classes.

And McKinnie also was kicked off the NFC Pro Bowl squad in January of 2010, when the game was played in Miami. He said he withdrew because of an injury, but that was after he failed to show up for any of the practices.

"We'll have our meetings this week and we'll bring up the importance of guys [staying out of trouble]," McKinnie said. "Everybody has to realize what's at stake here. You don't know if you'll ever get back to this point ever again.

"Is it tempting being in New Orleans? I've been here before, but I've never been to the Super Bowl. So it's not tempting. What's more tempting is getting that Super Bowl ring."

Mark Craig • mark.craig@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Birk gives some thought to a lifetime of collisions

    Friday February 1, 2013

    Former Viking Matt Birk loves football, but once he's gone, he'll donate his brain to further study the game's side effects.

  • Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland - WP: J. Tomlin 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: S. Downs 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles - LP: J. Wright 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 2
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 3
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: Y. Herrera 2
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Portland 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many fantasy football teams do you draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close