As the Ravens held their final practice before breaking camp, the defense seems primed and anxious to take the field on Saturday night in Dallas against the Cowboys.
Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee never seems to slow down. Whether it’s during individual positional drills or 11 on 11 drills, the four-year veteran is going full throttle. Even with the slow paced practice that took place on Thursday, McPhee could be seen flying around from drill to drill and busting through the third team offense’s line even in shells.
The former fifth-round draft pick out of Mississippi State has performed at a high level throughout training camp. Lining up in several different positions, his versatility is opening eyes of his fellow players as well as DC Dean Pees.
“He can play some [defensive] end; he has played [defensive] end. I really like him as outside ‘backer, ” Pees noted yesterday.
“I like him as an inside pass rusher. A lot of it would depend on the type of game we are going to face, [such as a] gap scheme team [for which] you need a big five technique that can hold a point on a double team. There would be a lot of things that would depend on that.”
Rest assured wherever McPhee does line up, he will be ready to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines.
Other Notes & Observations
Linebacker Zachary Orr had a rough outing in pass coverage on Thursday as the rookie free agent struggled with Deonte Thompson and Dennis Pitta. Orr was unable to get position on Pitta resulting in a touchdown reception during 11 on 11 team drills, while Thompson used his explosiveness to get past Orr for a long reception down the sideline. In Orr’s defense however, why is he even assigned to Thompson at all?
Safety Anthony Levine found himself as the latest victim of the speedy and crafty route runner Steve Smith Sr. On a Smith Sr. touchdown reception, Levine allowed the veteran to cross him up and by the time he recovered the vet had already struck paydirt.
Veteran cornerback Dominique Franks has been seeing his reps increase from the third team defense to the second team since his successful game against the 49ers a week ago. Franks, the former Falcon who saw action on mostly special teams last season with Atlanta, enters 2014 with 38 career tackles (27 solo), nine passes defended and three interceptions. Franks provides experience in a secondary that’s facing several unanswered questions regarding depth at the position. Against the 49ers in the Ravens first preseason game, Franks recorded one interception for 25 yards and had two passes defended.
Cornerback Lardarius Webb (back), cornerback Asa Jackson (ankle) and defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip) all missed practice on Thursday.
*The Turk looms: Tuesday, Aug. 26 Roster Cut-Down to 75 Players, Saturday, Aug. 30. Roster Cut-Down to 53 Players.*
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