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Ravens outside linebacker Pernell McPhee predicts double-digit sacks this season

McPhee figures to play as an outside linebacker and as a five-technique defensive end.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The luxury of having a cross-trained defender is the ability of having that player back up multiple positions.

Pernell McPhee is a perfect example of this. McPhee has moved all around the defensive line and is now an outside linebacker. However, with season-ending injuries to Kapron Lewis-Moore and Brent Urban, McPhee will likely be asked to step in and work with the defensive line rotation as well as with the outside linebackers.

Though this is likely, McPhee said his main focus is rushing the passer as a linebacker and not as a down lineman.

"Whoever we play, [defensive coordinator Dean Pees will] let me know what role he wants me to play," McPhee said. "But right now, I'm [an] outside linebacker. That's what I focus on."

Coach John Harbaugh opened up a bit about McPhee's role in the defense, saying that he will likely be moved around quite a bit.

"[McPhee] already plays on the defensive line," Harbaugh said. "He rotates all across the front. He pretty much plays every front position in our sub-package, so he can play there in our base package as well. He can play the five-technique some, so he's a potential answer there. So is DeAngelo Tyson. Those guys have to play all the positions, so you end up rolling guys around. So, the first answer for any type of a depth issue is the guys that you have on your team. They need to step up. Those guys, they're more than eager to do that."

McPhee has had an impressive preseason, recording a sack a week ago against Dallas in Baltimore's second preseason game. He's expecting to not only return to his rookie form — when he recorded six sacks during the 2011 regular season — but he's hoping to exceed it.

He's put in place a lofty goal that he's hoping to achieve.

"I predict myself as going in and having double-digit sacks," McPhee said. "That's just me, but I leave that in God's hands. He only controls that."

The Ravens' defense will be in great shape if McPhee is able to record a double-digit sack total. Because more than likely, that would mean the other three outside linebackers, Terrell Suggs, Courtney Upshaw and Elvis Dumervil, are getting their share of sacks, too.