PITTSBURGH — The most important statistic Adam Terry wanted to achieve in his first NFL start was obvious to the young Baltimore Ravens’ offensive tackle. All he was concerned about Sunday was the final result on the Heinz Field scoreboard.
Despite some rough moments, including the nervousness of two false-start penalties, Terry didnâ€™t hurt the Ravensâ€™ cause while filling in for 10-time All-Pro left tackle Jonathan Ogden out with a hyperextended toe. Baltimore (12-3) dispatched the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-7, as quarterback Steve McNair threw three touchdown passes.
Last yearâ€™s second-round draft pick from Syracuse didnâ€™t approach Ogdenâ€™s gold standard, but he did a solid job of protecting McNairâ€™s blindside. He was never sacked.
â€œIf I didnâ€™t do a good job, then Iâ€™ll hear about it," Terry said. "We won, and thatâ€™s what it comes down to. A win is what matters.â€
Terry did fairly well while matched often against Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter, who finished with seven tackles and no sacks. The outspoken former Pro Bowl pass rusher pulled out virtually every verbal and physical gambit to try to shake Terryâ€™s confidence.
â€œYeah, he tried to,â€ Terry said. â€œHeâ€™s a good player. His abilities allow him to do things. I just tried to play within myself. It sounds corny, but thatâ€™s what I did.â€
Terryâ€™s performance was good enough to draw praise from Ravens coach Brian Billick.
â€œIn Adam Terryâ€™s first start, he faced some of the toughest circumstances you could have,â€ Billick said. â€œIt was wonderful how the offensive line continues to put the young guys in there. He stepped up to the challenge and developed some depth for us thatâ€™s going to be needed.â€
Terry might have to play again next week in a regular-season finale against the Buffalo Bills if Ogdenâ€™s condition doesnâ€™t improve. Ogden didnâ€™t practice last week, describing the injury to his sore, left big toe as â€œturf toe.â€
â€œEverybody has got to step up at one point, and this week was my week,â€ Terry said. â€œWho knows about next week? I just keep working.â€
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland