OWINGS MILLS — Between massive rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody’s surprising athleticism, brute strength and developing technique, the Baltimore Ravens are extremely excited about his potential.
"He’s really a bright guy," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of the second-round draft pick from Alabama. "I mean, he really does a good job studying the defense. Really, in the first mini-camp, as much as we threw on him, he came out here and picked it up really quickly.
"He works hard in the weight room. He works hard in the conditioning stuff, so all plusses so far. Obviously, when the pads come on, I think it’ll even be more of a strength for him, but he’s done well so far."
The former consensus All-American toughed out a hip injury for a week before reporting it to trainers.
Now, Cody has gotten over the inflammation.
"I felt like it was just a little bruise and stuff, so I felt it would just go away in a couple days," Cody said. "But it ended up staying with me."
When he returned, Cody made an immediate impact.
He sacked backup quarterback Troy Smith, forcing a fumble.
Then, he grabbed Smith on another play and sacked him again.
"I’m just learning things from the coaches that I can add to my toolbox," Cody said. "We don’t have any pads, so we can’t really bull-rush or do anything like that. So, it’s really finesse right now."
Cody registered just a half-sack at Alabama in two seasons after transferring from a Mississippi junior college.
His forte is stuffing the run.
No opposing runner hit the century mark against the Crimson Tide with Cody on the field as middle linebacker Rolando McClain wound up winning the Butkus Award and was drafted in the first round by the Oakland Raiders.
Cody is projected to contribute behind starting nose guard Kelly Gregg this season.
"I’m just counting the days down right now," Cody said. "I’m really strong and explosive."
And the 6-foot-4, 360-pounder appears to be getting into better condition, a major priority as he prepares for his first NFL season.
Harbaugh was clearly amused when asked about Cody ‘pancaking’ Smith.
"I’m not going to go there," Harbaugh said. "I think there’s a lot of opportunity on that, with the pancake comment, but we’ll stay away from that."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.