Pernell McPhee Is the Old-School Raven They Needed - John Eisenberg
On the team’s initial depth chart of 2019, McPhee is listed as the starting rush-end linebacker – Terrell Suggs’ old job. Practicing against the Jaguars Monday afternoon, he McPhee lined up mostly right where Suggs did for so many years.
He was brought in primarily to bolster the pass rush, or so we thought. But the Ravens believe he can contribute just as much as an edge-setter against the run, an underrated aspect of replacing Suggs.
“He’s really a tone-setter in terms of the run game. He’s strong. He’s powerful setting edges,” Joe Cullen, the team’s defensive line coach, said Monday. “He’s also going to work inside in some sub-situations, as you’ve seen before.”
Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale called McPhee one of the Ravens’ “pillars.”
Chris Wormley Embraces Opportunity to Start at Defensive End - Baltimore Ravens
Working with the first team at defensive end throughout training camp, Wormley has reinforced the coaching staff’s belief that he is ready to replace Brent Urban, last year’s starting strong side defensive end.
“Chris Wormley, I guess the best word I could use, the most accurate word, would be very steady, very consistent,” Harbaugh said. “What you see is what you get every day, and it’s good, and that’s what you look for at that position.”
To be part of the Ravens’ defensive line rotation, stopping the run must be a priority. That’s one of Wormley’s strengths. Primarily a three-technique lineman last season, Wormley played all 16 games and started six, finishing with 16 tackles and one sack while playing 38.7 percent of the defensive snaps.
“I think our defense is going to be faster this year,” Wormley said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys ready to play, some guys still on our first contracts who are highly motivated, some veteran guys who really know the game. We know the defensive standard that’s set here. We feel we’re up to it.”
Baltimore Ravens training camp notes: Lamar Jackson cools but hits Mark Andrews for a big play - Aaron Kasinitz
Other than Jimmy Smith’s struggles, the Ravens’ defense mostly rebounded from a poor showing Monday. The pass rush seemed to bother Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles at times and disrupt Jacksonville’s attempts at running the ball. More importantly, one day after the Jaguars routinely had pass catchers spring out into the flat for wide open receptions, the Ravens didn’t experience as many noticeable breakdowns Tuesday.
Moore made several impressive catches Tuesday, and running back Kenneth Dixon shined in one-on-one receiving drills. Both fourth-year players are hoping to cement their roster spots with a strong finish to training camp.