When the Ravens originally took to the field this offseason, there was little concern over the depth of the their defensive line.
However, things have a way of changing quickly in the NFL. As we found out during training camp, they did exactly that, as the team lost both second-year defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore and rookie defensive lineman Brent Urban for the year due to injuries in July.
Entering Sunday’s game against the Bengals, the Ravens have only five defensive lineman on the roster, or six if the team opts to insert linebacker Pernell McPhee in the rotation.
While many have penned that the concerns are a legit problem, defensive end Chris Canty certainly doesn’t believe they are “thin” at the position.
“I don’t know if we’re thin,” Canty told members of the media on Thursday. “We have a solid group of guys and we’re excited about what we have in our room. We’re excited about getting our 2014 campaign underway. We’re looking forward to Sunday. We have put a lot of work in this offseason, and we’re excited to see what we can do.”
The Ravens defensive front won’t have a cake walk when it comes to facing a stout Bengals offensive line.
Forming the o-line for the Bengals heading into Sunday are four veterans and one rookie. Returning to the tackle spots are Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith, and joining them are interior linemen Kevin Zeitler, Clint Boling and rookie Russell Bodine.
Canty is deeply impressed with the cohesion of the Bengals unit.
“They do [have cohesion], and they’re led by [Andrew] Whitworth,” Canty said. “He’s been a pro as pro. Across the front they do a good job. [Andre] Smith has been out a little bit in the preseason, but [Marshall] Newhouse has done a good job filling in, [and] they’re expecting Smith back. They’re a deep group.
“We understand that. We understand a few things they like to do, some of the of how they want to attack you. They want to get in your face, they want to beat you up and they want to run the football downhill. We have to be prepared for that.”
Time will tell whether the depth of the line is indeed a concern, or if Canty’s words will ring true. Two days prior to the first game at least, Canty and company certainly appear out to prove the concerns aren’t justified.
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