Villanueva played in the most pass-heavy offense in the league last year in Pittsburgh. Now he’s in the most run-heavy attack.
“I wasn’t quite sure how [his run blocking] would look, because you don’t get a true look at it in training camp. Gameday is just a little different,” Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said. “I’m really liking what I’m seeing there. I think [it’s] a little bit better than I thought it would be.”
It’s hard to think of a bigger one-week rebound than Villanueva had between Week 1 and Week 2. The way Villanueva handled the whole thing shows why the Ravens recruited his services. It’s not just about what the 6-foot-9, 277-pound blocker brings to the field. It’s also about how he approaches his job.
“I try to approach every day the same, try to get better at my craft, try to understand the game plan,” Villanueva said.
As long as Stanley is out, which is unknown at this point, Villanueva will be the Ravens’ left tackle.
The Ravens gave Stanley a five-year, nearly $100 million contract extension last year to handle that job long-term, but he suffered a season-ending ankle injury just a couple days later. Now it’s Villanueva protecting the team’s most valuable asset in Jackson.
After the Ravens converted on Jackson’s fourth-and-1 run, Villanueva turned to the Ravens sideline, flexed and let out a huge scream. Jackson gave Villanueva a leaping chest bump. It was a tough first week, but nobody encapsulated Baltimore’s Week 2 turnaround more than Villanueva.
“It’s not just myself learning about him. I hope a lot of people did,” Jackson said. “He took the first game seriously. A lot of people doubted him [and] were saying all type of stuff about him. He moved from right tackle in the first game to left tackle to protect my blindside, and he aced it.”