CAMP NOTES: Canty Stalls at the Line & Simon Says Hustle

photo: Baltimore Ravens

To echo the famous words of one Forrest Gump:

“Watching Chris Canty is like a box of chocolates. You just never know what you’re going to get play-to-play.” 

Alright, so maybe the quote didn’t go quite like that. But the point is Canty is maddeningly inconsistent. It’s ironic that former Raven great Michael McCrary was attending today’s session because he could teach Canty a thing or two about playing with a high motor.

On the snaps of Canty’s that I charted, I’d say that he was coasting on more than half of the plays, especially in running situations. Canty mostly operated from a three-point and four-point stance and he looked listless in his get-off at the line. When he was engaged by a double team, he barely made much of an attempt to break through the blocks. He played with little aggressiveness.

When Canty played with motivation, there was a noticeable difference. He fired off the ball and made more of an effort to use his hands to disengage the block. On one of the snaps in which he was purely rushing the passer, he used a nice swim move to loop around the left tackle and get pressure off the corner.

One of Canty’s lowest points came when Ricky Wagner knocked him to the ground on a pass block. It didn’t take much of a shove to get Canty to the ground.

For a man as big and physically gifted as Canty is, it’s really a mystery as to why he can’t seem to unleash his inner beast mode…

Conversely, Elvis Dumervil was Mr. Effort today in both running and passing situations. He was especially active as an outside cover LB and drew praise from one of the position coaches on his technique. Dumervil isn’t at his best when he has to turn his hips and run backward, but there is no questioning his willingness to improve.



The best way to describe John Simon is as a work in progress. You can see the physical nature and energy that the former Ohio State player brings on every snap. When he takes on blocks, he is very aggressive with his hands. On a play in which he had to take on tight end Crockett Gilmore, the second-year player used a strong rip move to disengage.

Simon looked more comfortable as a stand-up rusher than in coverage situations. He’s particularly good on the edge, and he was able to get past the left tackle on a couple of occasions.

In coverage, Simon is much better on shorter routes where he can use the sideline to his advantage. He has stiff hips and heavy feet. His lack of athleticism and lateral agility was exposed by fullback Shaun Chapas (more on him below) on a pull block in space.

However, at times he makes up for his lack of athleticism with his intelligence and timing. For instance, he was able to cut underneath a route that he ran better than the pass catcher, and nearly came away with the interception. He also perfectly timed two batted passes at the line.

It’s Simon’s hard work and ability to adapt to being a stand-up linebacker that will ultimately determine his fate.



Lorenzo Taliaferro: The big back from little Coastal Carolina continues to make his mark. He had a couple of nice runs, particularly bouncing off the left side of the line. Tailaferro does a nice job of sliding his feet to find the cutback lane. For a guy his size, he has deceptive speed. If he gets momentum moving forward, he will be tough to tackle. And he invites contact. There were a couple of plays in which he fought through contact to lean forward for more yards.

D.J. Roberts: The rookie backer showed up in goal-line drills. He may not always have the best technique (he tends to play too high out of his stance), but he is very aggressive and consistently battled today. In fact, there was a play in which Reggie Stephens drove Roberts backward, but the rookie was undeterred and finished the series strong. Given his compact frame and long arms, he looks like a player that can anchor against the run if he can continue to refine his technique and use of hands.


Other Notes


  • Newly signed Will Hill worked as a member of the “vice” coverage teams during punt return drills. He looked good as an inside blocker, cutting off the crash player from getting past him.
  • Fullback Shaun Chapas has been making some nice plays when given the opportunity. Today, he had a couple of key blocks in the open field and also caught a couple of passes.
  • C.J. Mosley was impressive in his coverage technique. He showed great hips to cover slant routes, while also displaying the timing to break on the ball and knock it down. Moreover, his jam at the line was very disruptive.
This entry was posted in Blog View, Camp Notes, Featured by Dev Panchwagh. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dev Panchwagh

Dev Panchwagh
Dev Panchwagh is a versatile analyst who breaks down the Xs and Os of the game and has been a columnist/analyst for since the summer of 2004. In his regular season column Battle Plans, Dev highlights the Ravens' keys to success against each upcoming opponent. Dev started modestly as a sports...more

8 Raves on “CAMP NOTES: Canty Stalls at the Line & Simon Says Hustle

  1. Brian Tray on said:

    With Suggs, Dumervil, McPhee and Upshaw as outside linebackers and Brown, Smith, Mosely and Bynes on the inside is there really any chance Simon or Roberts make the team? Bynes might not even make it. I’d say there is no chance Chapas makes it.
    My guess is that all 3 end up on the practice squad.

  2. Brian Tray on said:

    With Ngata, Jernigan and Williams up front Canty is going to get plenty of time to take it easy……on the sidelines.

  3. Jeff on said:

    Seems unfair to judge a long-time veteran like Canty for not giving everything on every play in practice. When you are his age and have less to learn and to prove it is more important to preserve yourself for the season. I’m not a Canty fan and was kind of hoping he would lose his job and maybe his roster spot (though I do think we need him because he is our only vocal mentor on the d-line), but I will judge him on how he plays during a real game that counts and actually hope that he coasts during practice to save himself. With a rookie, who needs to learn more and to prove himself, it is more fair to judge their effort in practice.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Jeff, I think this is a pattern with Canty and in part it’s why he’s here in Baltimore and not still a Giant. He can make splash plays and then disappear.

    • Dev on said:

      I can’t agree. There are other veterans out there (Suggs, Ngata, Dumervil) who play hard every snap and try to make their mark. If anything, if Canty was going hard on his snaps I think that would be a better example for the young guys out there. Outside of the day I charted him, he hasn’t shown up as a playmaker at all on the days I’ve been out there. Considering he’s had consistency issues in the past, he actually does have something to prove.

  4. Mark on said:

    Dev, Any observations regarding Richie Leone’s punting (and holding for Tucker)? Koch, like Zastudil, got much too expensive to keep based on performance. Leone has the advantage of also being a backup PK t but Koch has experience as Tucker’s holder. Your thoughts?

  5. Dev on said:

    Mark, great question. it seems like Koch is still the guy. But Jerry Rosburg gave Leone some praise today on his punting performance. I think the other thing to think about is the operation between Koch, Cox, and Tucker is so reliable on FG kicks that I can’t see the team messing with that chemistry.

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