OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Pernell McPhee hasn't just been the best pass-rusher on the Baltimore Ravens this preseason. He's been among the best in the NFL.
After two preseason games, McPhee is tied for the league lead with five quarterback hurries and is rated as the top pass rusher among all linebackers by Pro Football Focus. He was the only consistent pass rusher for the Ravens last week against the Dallas Cowboys, knocking quarterback Brandon Weeden to the ground a couple of times.
Does McPhee feel like he can carry these types of performances into the regular season?
"I predict myself as going in and having double-digit sacks," McPhee said.
That's a lofty goal considering the Ravens' history (only six players have recorded 10 or more sacks in a season) and McPhee's recent history.
A 2011 fifth-round pick, McPhee has been both a surprise and a disappointment over the past three seasons. As a rookie, he finished second on the team with six sacks. But, over the next two seasons, he totaled 3.5 sacks.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he hasn't seen a difference in McPhee over the years.
"I think he has always looked explosive," coach John Harbaugh said. "I think Pernell has always been a really good player, and I've noticed him from the first day he got here until now. I don't think he has ever taken his foot off the gas."
The biggest difference with McPhee this year is he's healthy. This is the first offseason he's not recovering from a surgery.
The Ravens have moved McPhee around on passing downs because of his size and ability to collapse the pocket. He lined up as a rush end in Dallas, but he primarily will line up inside alongside Haloti Ngata in the Ravens' nickel defense (Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil will come off the edges).
"I just want to be out there," McPhee said. "Inside or outside, it doesn't matter."