OWINGS MILLS — It will be nearly a month into the regular season before defensive lineman Ryan McBean can make his official debut with the Baltimore Ravens.
And when the Ravens square off with the Cleveland Browns after McBean serves a three-game NFL suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the former Denver Broncos starter could provide a boost to the front seven.
During an organized team activity, McBean displayed strength, athleticism and an ability to penetrate the backfield. He appears to be off to a good start with his new team.
"I just want to show my ability to get to the quarterback and stop the run," McBean said. "We’ve got guys here already that can do that, and I can add to that.
"It’s a great opportunity with a great team, a great defense. You can’t go wrong with that."
Intent on bolstering their defensive line, the Ravens’ search for depth brought them to McBean, a versatile 6-foot-5, 305-pounder.
McBean, 28, was signed to a one-year, $1.214 million contract.
The Broncos rescinded his $1.272 million restricted free agent tender after the NFL punished McBean with a six-game suspension for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
After dropping a lawsuit that claims that the NFL didn’t follow proper testing procedure and mishandled his urine sample, McBean’s suspension was reduced to three games without pay.
"Yeah, it was basically a compromise," McBean said. "I wanted to get back on the field as soon as I could."
McBean is eligible to take part in all offseason activities and preseason practices and games with his suspension beginning the first week of the regular season.
The NFL punishment will try his patience.
"It’s not so much tough," McBean said. "I’ll get my chance. It gives me time to work on my craft. As long as we’re winning, that’s all that matters to me."
Replaced on the Broncos’ roster by former Ravens defensive tackle Justin Bannan, McBean recorded 33 tackles and four sacks last season.
For his career, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound former Pittsburgh Steelers fourth-round draft pick from Oklahoma State has 77 tackles and one fumble recovery. He started a career-high 14 games three years ago.
The Ravens lost defensive end Cory Redding and defensive tackle Brandon McKinney via free agency to the Indianapolis Colts.
So, adding players like McBean to work behind starters Haloti Ngata and Terrence Cody was necessary.
The Ravens also signed former veteran starting nose guard Maake Kemoeatu and drafted University of Georgia defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson in the seventh round.
One plus with McBean is his flexibility to line up at several positions across the defensive line.
"I just want to show my physicality and that I get better every year," McBean said.
"My potential keeps going up."
NOTE: The Ravens cut rookie running back Brandon Pendergrass, an undrafted free agent from Wake Forest.