NFL Nation: Chris Canty

A realization hit defensive coordinator Dean Pees when he talked to coach John Harbaugh about the Baltimore Ravens' depth chart this offseason: Only two starters remain from the defense that helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl 17 months ago.

"When you have the [roster] turnover, there’s always a little bit of time for those guys to develop," said Pees, whose only championship holdovers are Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata."But also, just like every team goes through it, you can’t keep the same guys forever."

Change often leads to a transition period especially when you're dealing with the loss of two future Hall of Fame players in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. But change was a necessity for the Ravens. For the first time in 15 years, the Ravens went consecutive seasons without having a top-10 defense. The once-feared group suddenly had become average.

[+] EnlargeHaloti Ngata
Peter G. Aiken/Getty ImagesHaloti Ngata is one of only two defensive holdovers from the starting unit that won the Super Bowl following the 2012 season.
The Ravens needed to get younger, faster and, if their projections are correct, significantly better. A major investment in defense -- their top three draft picks in 2013 and 2014 came on that side of the ball -- has brought an infusion of talent. Four of these players (strong safety Matt Elam, nose tackle Brandon Williams, linebacker C.J. Mosley and free safety Terrence Brooks) have a shot at starting this season.

The Ravens are mixing this youth with two of the best pass-rushers in the league in Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, a couple of emerging cornerbacks in Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith and a "game-wrecker" in the middle with Ngata.

"The expectation for our defense is to be top-five, at the worst," Harbaugh said. "It has always been that way and always will be."

Long before the Seattle Seahawks won a Super Bowl with defense, the Ravens did so in 2000. Then, from 2003 to 2011, the Ravens boasted a top-10 defense. Dominating defenses became as synonymous with Baltimore as "The Wire."

That streak ended in 2012, when the Ravens defense finished 17th in yards allowed and 12th in points given up. The defense played a integral role in beating the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, especially that final stand in the red zone, but that doesn't erase the fact that the Ravens gave up the second-most yards in team history that year.

The lapses continued last season, when the Ravens ranked No. 12 on defense. If not for the offense finishing near the bottom of the league and Joe Flacco's career-worst 22 interceptions, there would've been more complaining about the defense allowing the most fourth-quarter points in team history.

"Last year, at times, we showed flashes of being a good defense, but then we'd have breakdowns," defensive end Chris Canty said. "We'd have mistakes, we'd have mental errors and those are the things that just can't happen if you want to be successful in the National Football League. ... We have to make sure that we're on top of our game every single play."

Some may suggest the Ravens made mistakes in this year's draft. Based on how the offense struggled last year, it was more of a priority to add a right tackle, wide receiver or running back early in the draft.

After the Ravens chose three defensive players with their first three picks, owner Steve Bisciotti reportedly turned to new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and said: “That’s what we do here. We ask you for your opinion, but then Ozzie [Newsome, general manager] always takes defensive players.”

Although some bemoan what the Ravens didn't address in the draft, the focus should be on the talent they brought in. They have a future Pro Bowl centerpiece in Mosley, an eventual replacement to Ngata in Timmy Jernigan and a speedy free safety in Brooks.

"A young defense is a good thing. I'm excited about it," Harbaugh said. "When we won the Super Bowl, we definitely weren't the fastest defense in the NFL but we had a lot of savvy and had guys who made plays when it counted. What we're lacking in experience, we're going to have to make up for in youthful vigor and speed."

When the Ravens won the Super Bowl, the average age of the starting defense was 29.5 years old. This year's projected starters on defense are nearly 3 years younger.

Now they have to prove they're better.

"We can be really good," Dumervil said. "I think we have the speed and athleticism. We're very versatile. We just have to continue to grind and continue to work, and the sky is the limit."
One Baltimore Ravens draft pick whose development bears watching is defensive end Brent Urban. Chris Canty will certainly be paying attention.

When Urban is ready to start, it could signal the exit for Canty. It might come this year or in 2015.

Urban has been mislabeled a project by some. He played out of position in a 4-3 defense at Virginia. He played hurt for most of the season, which dropped his stock in the draft.

[+] EnlargeBrent Urban
AP Photo/Johnny VyVirginia defensive end Brent Urban impressed the Ravens with his play at the Senior Bowl.
If you need an indication of how much the Ravens like Urban, team officials started talking about drafting Urban in the second round. The conversation that sold the Ravens on Urban came the week leading up to the draft.

Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta was watching film in his office when he got a call from general manager Ozzie Newsome.

"Have you seen Urban at the Senior Bowl?," Newsome asked.

After DeCosta said he did, Newsome said, "He was kicking butt."

Urban, who suffered a high ankle sprain during the season, had to leave the Senior Bowl practices because of the injury, which contributed to him falling to the fourth round. He had surgery in February and expects to get on the field either in late May or early June. The important part is he'll be ready for the start of training camp, when he'll compete for a starting job.

Canty, 31, didn't produce as expected in his first season with the Ravens. He had two sacks in the first two games, but he didn't have another one the rest of the season. He recorded nine tackles in his final six games.

The Ravens have kept Canty, who has the 10th-highest cap number on the team, because there was no one ready to replace him. That could change if Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore, a sixth-round pick who missed all of last season with a knee injury, prove they are able to handle significant roles.

If the Ravens cut Canty this season, it would free up $1.83 million in cap room. If they released him in 2015, the Ravens would clear $2.66 million of cap room. The Ravens are in the middle of the NFL in cap space, so there is no urgency to part ways with Canty right now. The extra cap room could become more necessary if the Ravens need to sign a higher-priced veteran offensive tackle or cornerback.

Urban is the perfect fit for a 3-4 defensive end, which is also referred as "five technique." At 6-feet-7, 298 pounds, he has nearly the same build as Canty (6-7, 317). It's easy to see the line of succession.

The Ravens have used the past two drafts to build their defensive line of the future. Last year, the Ravens started Canty, Haloti Ngata and Arthur Jones. If the Ravens projections are correct, the starting defensive line could soon be Urban, Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan.

"Urban was a guy that we really liked throughout the whole process, starting in the fall," said Joe Hortiz, the director of college scouting. "The scouts went in there during two-a-days recognizing just the size of him. He is put together; he’s chiseled. On film, you see a prototypical five-technique body type who is playing in a 4-3 scheme. But you loved his motor, his competitiveness and really how he played on the early film. We felt like we were getting a potential starter down the road."
Free agency begins in 13 days, and the Baltimore Ravens need to do better with their signings next month than they did in the first wave of free agency last year. Half of the free agents signed by the Ravens from other teams didn't finish the season in Baltimore. This is one of the reasons why the Ravens went from Super Bowl champions in 2012 to an 8-8 team last year.

Let's grade the Ravens' free-agent signings from last March:

Canty
CHRIS CANTY

Position: Defensive end

Former team: New York Giants

Contract: Signed a three-year, $8 million contract. The deal contained $2.84 million guaranteed.

How it turned out: Canty was solid but not spectacular. He started off fast with a sack in two of his first three games. But Canty didn't have another one in his final 12 games. He showed his athleticism by batting down four passes. The Ravens were just expecting more of an impact from Canty.

Grade: C-plus.

Dumervil
ELVIS DUMERVIL

Position: Outside linebacker

Former team: Denver Broncos

Contract: Signed a five-year, $26 million contract. The deal contained $8.5 million guaranteed.

How it turned out: The Ravens brought in Dumervil to get after quarterbacks, and he finished with 9.5 sacks, which was second-most on the team. But he faded in the final two months of the season. Dumervil recorded nine tackles and one sack in his final six games. He never made more than three tackles in a game and had three games without a tackle.

Grade: B.

Flacco
JOE FLACCO

Position: Quarterback

Contract: Signed a six-year, $120.6 million contract. The deal contained $52 million guaranteed.

How it turned out: It's easy to criticize signing Flacco to an NFL record deal after he threw a career-worst 22 interceptions last season. But Flacco didn't get much help from the worst rushing attack in team history and poor pass protection. This doesn't take all of the blame off Flacco, who forced too many passes. Still, Flacco delivered four game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, which accounted for half of the Ravens' wins. He also threw for a career-high 3,912 yards.

Grade: C.

Huff
MICHAEL HUFF

Position: Safety

Former team: Oakland Raiders

Contract: Signed a three-year, $6 million contract. The deal contained $1.5 million guaranteed.

How it turned out: Huff was the Ravens' most disappointing signing. He was supposed to replace Ed Reed, but he was benched after the season-opening 49-27 loss at Denver. Huff went through the motions on special teams. The Ravens cut Huff midway through the season after he made the glaring mistake of losing outside containment on a 44-yard kickoff return, which jump started the Pittsburgh Steelers' game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. He pocketed $2.35 million (when you include signing bonus) for a half a season of work.

Grade: F.

Ihedigbo
JAMES IHEDIGBO

Position: Safety

Contract: Signed a one-year, $780,000 contract. The deal contained $65,000 guaranteed.

How it turned out: Ihedigbo was one of the bigger surprises on the Ravens' defense. A special teams player for most of his career, Ihedigbo finished second on the Ravens with 101 tackles and provided much-needed leadership. He was named the strong safety on the All-AFC North team. But, with the Ravens moving first-round pick Matt Elam to strong safety, Ihedigbo is expected to play elsewhere in 2014.

Grade: B.

Spears
MARCUS SPEARS

Position: Defensive tackle

Former team: Dallas Cowboys

Contract: Signed a two-year, $2.75 million contract. The deal contained $600,000 guaranteed.

How it turned out: Just like Huff, Spears was a bust. He never got in great shape and was outplayed by younger players like Brandon Williams and DeAngelo Tyson. The Ravens cut him after seven games. The impact of Spears in the defensive line rotation was never felt in an underachieving run defense, which ranked No. 13 at the time of his release.

Grade: F.

Note: Middle linebacker Daryl Smith, one of the Ravens' top free-agent signings last year, was signed in the second wave of free agency in June.
Joe Flacco Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images"We didn't play well," Joe Flacco said, "and at 8-8, we don't deserve to be there" in the postseason.

CINCINNATI -- The Baltimore Ravens didn't deserve to go to the playoffs, and they weren't good enough to get there.

The Ravens controlled their playoff fate for the past two weeks, and they didn't have what it takes to march into the postseason like they've done in each of the past five seasons. They let opportunities slip through their fingers like another failed trip in the red zone.

Baltimore's 34-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals hammered home the point that there was no magic left for the Ravens to overcome their flaws.

Everything was going according to plan for the Ravens on Sunday when they tied the Bengals in the third quarter, seized the momentum and looked at the scoreboard to see the Miami Dolphins losing to the New York Jets. Instead of closing out the game for a playoff berth, however, the Ravens watched the Bengals score the last 17 points.

Game over. Season over. Defense of the Super Bowl title over.

The Ravens finished 8-8, and rightfully so. They were mediocre. They made the same mistakes week after week. And, minutes after being eliminated from the playoffs, they didn't make any excuses.

"It's tough. It's disappointing," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "But we're an 8-8 football team -- we don't deserve to be there [in the playoffs]. Everybody in that locker room is used to winning and getting in the playoffs and giving ourselves a shot to win it all. It's disappointing not to have done that for ourselves. But we didn't play well, and at 8-8, we don't deserve to be there."

The regular-season finale was a series of replays of what went wrong this season, especially when the Ravens were making a push for the playoffs. All of the exasperating issues -- a struggling red zone offense, shaky pass protection and the defense's inability to finish games -- were on display at Paul Brown Stadium in freeze-frame clarity.

The frustrating part for the Ravens was they weren't outplayed. The Bengals were gift-wrapping this game to the Ravens like a late holiday present, throwing four interceptions.

What did the Ravens do with two of those turnovers in the first quarter? They kicked two field goals.

"If we could have gotten 14 or even 10 there, it would have been a big difference," coach John Harbaugh said. "I thought [the red zone] was the issue the week before, too, and the week before that. That's been an issue down the stretch for us -- scoring touchdowns in the red zone -- and it got us again in this game."

The Ravens, with the third-worst red-zone offense entering this game, were 1-of-4 in Cincinnati. In their final three games, the Ravens scored a total of two touchdowns.

"When you're that much off throughout the course of 16 games, you're not going to be special enough to win football games," Flacco said. "That's just kind of where we are."

That's not a playoff offense. That's not a winning offense. But it is a reflection of a banged-up one.

Outside of a celebratory sprint down the sideline after a two-point conversion, running back Ray Rice had no burst and played only two series in the first half because of a thigh injury. Flacco gutted it out on one leg again after taking a hit in the end zone; he couldn't step into his throws after that.

"At the end of the day, the one thing I can say that we can all do better is that we could have executed," Rice said. "That takes play calling out of it. Sometimes, it's about who wants it more."

Much of the blame will go on Flacco and his three interceptions in the fourth quarter. That gave him the Ravens' single-season record of 22 interceptions, which were three more than any other Ravens quarterback and 10 more than his previous high.

[+] EnlargeMarlon Brown
John Grieshop/Getty ImagesMarlon Brown's touchdown tied it, but the Ravens watched Cincinnati score the game's final 17 points.
Flacco did make poor decisions and miss some open receivers. But the Ravens' offensive line must share the fault for failing to protect him. Flacco was a quarterback piņata. With a brace on his sprained left knee, Flacco had to either rush throws or limp for his life.

"Joe's a warrior for us," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "He's going to take a lot of heat. He fought through so many things this year. He battled. He didn't quit. He didn't point fingers at anyone. He shouldn't have been in this position heading into the offseason."

When the Ravens' offense did tie the game at 17 in the third quarter -- compliments of a 10-yard punt by Cincinnati -- it was their defense that betrayed them again in the fourth quarter. Keyed by a 27-yard catch-and-run by Giovani Bernard, the Bengals went 90 yards on 12 plays to go ahead 24-17 and never looked back.

"That was a statement drive for them," Harbaugh said. "That was probably the difference in the second half."

That was the fourth go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter allowed by this Ravens defense over the past four games.

"[Defensive end] Chris Canty said this week, 'Opportunities are never lost. They are taken by someone else,'" safety James Ihedigbo said. "That's truly what happened today."

In the end, the Ravens didn't have any more can't-believe-that-happened moments. There was not another last-second touchdown like in the win over the Minnesota Vikings. There was not another winning, 61-yard field goal by Justin Tucker like in Detroit.

The Ravens simply didn't measure up to the big boys in the AFC. When they controlled their playoff destiny in Week 16, the Ravens got routed 41-7 by the New England Patriots. And when they had another shot at earning a playoff berth Sunday, the Ravens couldn't beat a mistake-prone Bengals team.

As a result, the Ravens were outscored in losses to the AFC's top three seeds -- Denver, New England and Cincinnati -- by a combined score of 124-51.

"You learn more in failure than you ever will in success," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "This is a crappy feeling. We're going to learn tremendously from it, and we have to live with it for the whole offseason. You had better believe we're going to come into next season with a sense of urgency."

Will the Giants re-sign Linval Joseph?

December, 25, 2013
12/25/13
12:00
PM ET
We looked Tuesday at the issues the New York Giants face this offseason on the offensive line, but there are thorny questions on the defensive line as well. Chief among them is the status of pending free-agent defensive tackle Linval Joseph, who is one of the best players on the team, but plays a position that doesn't get a lot of attention.

I believe Joseph is an extremely important player to the Giants, and that they should make re-signing him a top priority. He's everything they need in the middle of the line. He eats up double teams to allow others to penetrate. He stops the run. He can collapse the pocket from the interior and generate pressure on the quarterback himself. He's big and strong and mean on the field, and an absolute pleasure of a teammate off of it. If I were the Giants, I'd want him on my team until he retired.

However.

[+] EnlargeMatt Barkley
AP Photo/Matt RourkeNeeds at other positions could prevent the Giants from keeping pending free agent Linval Joseph.
The Giants have a ton of questions all over the roster, and money they need to spend at wide receiver, defensive end, offensive line, cornerback ... pretty much everywhere. They'll get some cap relief with a likely contract extension for quarterback Eli Manning and the possible cuts of veterans like Mathias Kiwanuka, David Baas and Chris Snee. But even if cut, those guys will have to be replaced, and whatever fresh cap room shows up could vanish quickly. The Giants have Cullen Jenkins under contract next year at a cap cost of $3.27 million, and 2013 second-round pick Johnathan Hankins has shown enough as a rookie to merit a larger role. It's possible they could decide they can't fit Joseph into their budget at a position where they are already strong. It's likely that Joseph, knowing he plays a position that wears a man down quickly, will seek as large a contract as possible knowing he might never get another.

I asked some people what Joseph could expect to get. Former player agent Joel Corry said he would constantly be reminding the Giants that they themselves set a high market for defensive tackles when they gave Chris Canty a six-year, $42 million deal with $16 million guaranteed five offseasons ago. Canty was 26 at that time. Joseph is 25. Not crazy for him to ask for more than that, right?

Two offseasons ago, the Giants let a 27-year-old Barry Cofield leave without making an effort to keep him, and he signed for six years and $36 million (with $12.5 million guaranteed) with the division-rival Washington Redskins. Does that indicate the Giants have changed their position on the market value for defensive tackles in their prime? Or did they believe they had coverage at that position when they let Cofield walk?

All of it makes Joseph's a fascinating case, especially considering the premium the Giants put on the defensive end position in their 4-3 scheme. Justin Tuck is a free agent who needs re-signing. Kiwanuka would have to be replaced if he left, to maintain depth. Jason Pierre-Paul is a year away from his own free agency, and injury issues the past two seasons have made him a short-term question mark as well as a long-term one. So it's easy to imagine the Giants spending their defensive line budget on the outside and letting Joseph seek a big deal elsewhere. I think that would be a mistake.

No surprises with Ravens' inactives

November, 28, 2013
11/28/13
7:28
PM ET
BALTIMORE -- There were no surprises with the inactives for the Baltimore Ravens, who play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night (8:30 ET, NBC).

Defensive end Chris Canty, who was probable with a shoulder injury, is active and will start. For the second straight week, the Ravens decided to go with wide receiver Brandon Stokley and defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson, and they made wide receiver Deonte Thompson and defensive lineman Brandon Williams inactive.

Here are the Ravens' official inactives: safety Brynden Trawick, linebacker John Simon, defensive lineman Brandon Williams, wide receiver Deonte Thompson, running back Bernard Scott, safety Omar Brown and center Ryan Jensen.

Chris Canty still limited for Ravens

November, 26, 2013
11/26/13
5:50
PM ET
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- For the second straight day, only one starter for the Baltimore Ravens missed any practice time.

Canty
Defensive end Chris Canty was limited once again because of a shoulder injury. He was hurt late in the third quarter of Sunday's win over the New York Jets and returned to the game. For that reason, it's a good bet that Canty will play Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The only other player on the Ravens' injury report is Brynden Trawick, who is tied for the most special-teams tackles for Baltimore. He did not practice because of an ankle injury, and likely will miss Thursday's game.

Once again, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was not on the injury report. He missed most of the practices the past two weeks because of a knee injury.
BALTIMORE -- Running back Ray Rice described the Baltimore Ravens' 19-3 win over the New York Jets as a "very good team win." Not exactly.

The Ravens remained in the thick of the AFC's playoff picture (or is it the race of mediocrity?) because of their defense. With all due respect to Joe Flacco's two long passes and Justin Tucker's four field goals, the most dominant group on the field was a Ravens defense that was on a mission.

[+] EnlargeCorey Graham
AP Photo/Nick WassCorey Graham intercepted two passes and the Ravens allowed a season-low 220 yards.
All week, the Ravens heard about how the Jets had a fearsome front seven, the NFL's best run-stoppers and a top-10 defense. By the end of the day, the defense everyone was talking about belonged to the Ravens.

Baltimore allowed a season-low 220 yards and gave up three points, its fewest in four years. The Ravens forced three turnovers and held New York scoreless for the final 51 minutes, 52 seconds.

"We always want to be the best defense on the field," said cornerback Corey Graham, who tied a career high with two interceptions. "We knew they've got a pretty good front seven, and they play good ball. But when it came down to it, we wanted to be a dominant defense, and that's what we were able to do today."

The Ravens' defense has been the most consistent part of the team. This was the seventh time this season that the defense allowed one or no touchdowns in a game.

The problem has been finishing off teams. Two weeks ago, it was a Hail Mary pass by the Cincinnati Bengals. Last Sunday, it was a 43-yard completion to tight end Martellus Bennett that set up the Chicago Bears' winning field goal in overtime.

On Sunday, when the Jets drove into Ravens' territory in the fourth quarter, it was a different story. Graham picked off rookie quarterback Geno Smith in the end zone to squash the Jets' last true scoring opportunity.

"That was a point of emphasis by our coaches, that we need to find a way to finish, not just drives but games," Graham said. "They made some plays, but when it came down to it, we made the bigger plays."

Where the Ravens made their stand throughout the game was on third down: Baltimore stopped the Jets from converting on 11 of 12 chances. This is what the Ravens did on third down: Haloti Ngata stuffed running back Chris Ivory for no gain when he needed 1 yard, Graham picked off his first pass, Chris Canty batted down a pass and Pernell McPhee recorded his second sack of the season. In total, Smith was 0-for-6 on third down.

"That's just a great accomplishment," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We blitzed a little bit, but I think it was four-man pressure, and that's usually the result of good coverage, too. Our guys did a good job of taking away the first read or two [and] gave our guys a chance to get there."

Some may downgrade the Ravens because this effort came against a struggling rookie quarterback. But the Ravens have had their troubles with less-than-established quarterbacks this month (Jason Campbell and Josh McCown).

For the Ravens, it wasn't about playing Geno Smith. It was about reuniting with Jets coach Rex Ryan, who was the Ravens' defensive coordinator from 2005 to 2008. In the Ravens' three games against Ryan, their defense hasn't allowed a touchdown. It's not a coincidence.

"There's always a little something added when we're playing Rex," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "[Ravens defensive coordinator] Dean Pees called a great game and put us in the beset opportunities to make plays as a defense. We’re proud of the fact that we didn’t give up a touchdown."
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- There was mixed reaction in the Baltimore Ravens locker room over the comments made by Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden this week.

Haden
Haden told reporters that "The Ravens aren't the Ravens of old," and that remark was emailed to members on the team, according to offensive tackle Michael Oher. The Ravens (3-4) play at the Browns (3-5) on Sunday.

Do the Ravens players take offense to Haden's public assessment of them?

"He's entitled to his own opinion," Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty said. "A lot of players do a lot of talking in pro football with the media. We choose to do our talking on the field with our pads on Sunday."

Haden shouldn't call out the defending Super Bowl champions or a team that has beaten the Browns 11 straight times. It's just bad form. Along the same lines, the Ravens shouldn't be offended because Haden was making a valid observation.

With guard Kelechi Osemele out with a back injury, the Ravens will have 11 different starters Sunday from the team that won the Super Bowl nine months ago. In fact, the Ravens will have three different starters (left tackle Eugene Monroe, left guard A.Q. Shipley and linebacker Jameel McClain) than the team that beat the Browns in Week 2. It's factually correct to say these aren't the same Ravens.

More than the lineup itself, the Ravens haven't been playing like the Ravens of old. They're struggling to run the ball (they rank last with a 2.8-yard average). They're losing close games, unlike last season. And the traditionally strong defense isn't making critical stops late in games.

"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how people view you. It's on us to play and prove it," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "Last year, we won the Super Bowl and no one picked us to win going from Week 10 on. So, it doesn't matter what people say, whether it's your opponent or the media. We have to go out there and play ball. You obviously don't want to prove them right."

This is exactly the right perspective the Ravens should have about this. Haden's comments weren't overly inflammatory. He went on to tell reporters that the Ravens are "still really good, a real talented team, a division opponent." Still, Oher didn't appear too happy with what was said.

"Everybody got the email and everybody saw it," Oher said. "I trust in the guys upstairs. If you're in this organization as a player, you're a great player. We're here for a reason. I'm looking for great things for the future of this team in the next nine weeks."

The Ravens sent a message to the team when they cut safety Michael Huff and defensive lineman Marcus Spears after returning from the bye. But, a few day later, comments made by a division opponent may have riled up this team even more.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty acknowledged he pushed a teammate on a last-minute field-goal attempt in Miami two weeks ago, which apparently led to the unsportsmanlike penalty in the New England Patriots-New York Jets game last Sunday.

"Wow, I can take credit for that?," Canty told The Baltimore Sun on Tuesday.

According to the NFL Network, the Miami Dolphins filed a complaint after Canty shoved teammate Arthur Jones in an effort to block kicker Caleb Sturgis' potential game-tying 57-yard attempt, which sailed wide left in the Ravens' 26-23 win. The NFL reportedly told the Dolphins that the correct call was missed and that the league would make it a point of emphasis going forward.

If the Ravens had been penalized 15 yards for illegal pushing, the Dolphins would have had a chance to tie the game with a 42-yard field goal. The Miami game has been the Ravens' only win since Sept. 22.

"You're trying to knock back the line of scrimmage and use a guy to get a hand up," Canty said. "Maybe if you can't block the kick, you can get in the kicker's eyesight and maybe alter his kick."

On Sunday, the New England Patriots' Chris Jones drew a critical 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for pushing a teammate on Nick Folk's 56-yard field goal miss in overtime. Four plays later, Folk capitalized on his second chance with a 42-yard winning field goal for Jets' 30-27 victory.

"Yeah, it’s a bigger deal," Canty said. "They didn’t call it [in Miami]. Obviously, we got the result that we wanted. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for New England.”

Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg was unaware that the Dolphins had filed a complaint against the Ravens and declined comment on the play.

Asked if the Ravens have been trying to emphasize that rule more, Rosburg said, "We're just trying to follow the rules, certainly. We don't want any fouls. That and all the other rules we're trying to follow."
Baltimore Ravens starting defensive lineman Chris Canty returned to have a full practice Thursday after sitting out the day before. He is dealing with a groin injury.

Canty
That means inside linebacker Josh Bynes (finger, thigh) was the only starter who didn't practice Thursday. Wide receiver Brandon Stokley (groin) missed practice after having a full participation the previous day.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (elbow) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (hamstring) were limited for a second straight day.

Inside linebacker Jameel McClain, who remains on the physically unable to perform list, had his second full practice. Before this week, he hadn't practiced for the Ravens since suffering a spinal-cord contusion 10 months ago.

Is there a possibility McClain could play Sunday?

“I’d hate to speculate, because again, I don’t want to say yes, don’t want to say no, and then I’m wrong," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "So, I don’t know. We’ll take it day-to-day. We’ll see how it goes. That’s a decision for better minds to make than me.”

Here's the Ravens' complete injury report:

Did not practice: LB Josh Bynes (thigh, finger), WR Brandon Stokley (groin) and LB Albert McClellan (shoulder).

Limited participation: CB Chykie Brown (thigh), DT Terrence Cody (knee), C Ryan Jensen (foot), DT Haloti Ngata (elbow), LB Courtney Upshaw (foot), CB Lardarius Webb (hamstring).

Full participation: DL Chris Canty (groin), LB Jameel McClain (neck), DT Marcus Spears (knee).
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Chris Canty took a verbal swing at former teammate Justin Tuck on Wednesday, three days after Tuck threatened to punch in the mouth anyone who turns on New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.

Canty
Tuck
“Justin needs to worry about punching opposing offenses in the mouth,” Canty said, in an interview on NFL Network. “The way you show that you have your coach’s back is by going out there on that football field and performing.”

Canty spent the past four seasons with the Giants, before being cut by the team back in February. He’s now starting for the Baltimore Ravens, with two sacks in the first four weeks of the season.

The Giants have just four sacks as a team, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the lowest total in the league. Tuck has half a sack.

Canty was also asked about Giants safety Antrel Rolle's comments earlier this week, in which he questioned the confidence of some of his teammates.

“There are probably guys in that locker room that probably lack the confidence that they can win football games, but as we know confidence comes from demonstrated performance,” Canty said. “So they just have to go out there and win a football game to show themselves that they can overcome the adversity in that game and be successful as a team.”
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.

Rice
Rice
Rice was limited in practice all week after sitting out his first game since 2008. He is dealing with a hip flexor strain.

Defensive lineman Chris Canty is the only other starter whose availability is uncertain. He is also questionable with a groin injury.

Wide receiver Marlon Brown, who has filled in for Jacoby Jones (knee), is probable with a neck injury. He had full practices after missing Wednesday's workout.

The only additions to the injury report was wide receiver Brandon Stokley (groin), who is questionable after being limited in Friday's practice.

For the Bills, cornerback Stephon Gilmore (wrist) is out and the other starting corner, Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) is questionable. Free safety Jairus Byrd (foot) is also questionable.

Here's the Ravens' complete injury report:

Out: WR Jacoby Jones (knee).

Doubtful: DT Terrence Cody (knee) and C Ryan Jensen (foot).

Questionable: RB Ray Rice (hip), DE Chris Canty (groin), WR Brandon Stokley (groin), LB Arthur Brown (chest), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle) and LB Pernell McPhee (knee).

Probable: WR Marlon Brown (neck).
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice returned to practice after missing his first game in five years, indicating there is a good chance of Rice playing against the Buffalo Bills and their 30th-ranked run defense.

Rice
Rice
Rice, who sat out practice last week with a hip flexor strain, was a limited participant Wednesday. He looked smooth in running drills during the portion of practice open to the media.

In addition to Rice, starting defensive lineman Chris Canty (groin) was limited Wednesday after sitting out Sunday's game. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones (knee) was ruled out for his third straight game. Marlon Brown, who replaced Jones in the starting lineup, didn't practice because of a neck injury.

For the Bills, six starters didn't practice: DE Mario Williams (ankle), CBs Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and Leodis McKelvin (hamstring), WR Stevie Johnson (hamstring), DT Kyle Williams (Achilles) and G Kraig Urbik (knee). Kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin) also didn't participate.

Here's the Ravens' complete injury report for Wednesday:

Out: WR Jacoby Jones (knee).

Did not participate: WR Marlon Brown (neck), DT Terrence Cody (knee), RB Shaun Draughn (ankle), C Ryan Jensen (foot) and LB Pernell McPhee (knee).

Limited: RB Ray Rice (hip), DE Chris Canty (groin), LB Arthur Brown (chest), WR Deonte Thompson (foot) and DT Brandon Williams (toe).

Three Ravens starters miss practice

September, 18, 2013
9/18/13
4:34
PM ET
Three Baltimore Ravens players missed practice Wednesday, most notably running back Ray Rice.

Three days ago, Rice sustained a hip flexor strain in the fourth quarter of the Ravens' 14-6 win over the Cleveland Browns and didn't return. Ravens coach John Harbaugh indicated earlier in the week that Rice may be held out of practice this week but wouldn't rule him out of Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.

If Rice can't play, backup running back Bernard Pierce would start in his place. Pierce, a third-round draft pick in 2012, has never started an NFL game.

"We have all the confidence in the world in him," wide receiver Torrey Smith said of Pierce. "Just watch him play. He's a heck of a running back, and we're lucky to have those two guys on our team."

The other starters who didn't practice were wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who has been ruled out with a knee injury, and defensive lineman Chris Canty, who has a thigh injury. Linebacker Arthur Brown (chest), cornerback Chykie Brown (knee) and center Ryan Jensen (foot) also didn't practice.

Harbaugh said there are no long-term concerns with Canty, Arthur Brown and Chykie Brown.

Wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot) and defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe) both returned to practice. Thompson hadn't practiced since hurting his foot in the preseason opener.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider