NFL Nation: Dan Cody


Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky


Some thoughts on what the Texans did and failed to do in their 17-10 preseason loss to the Vikings in Houston Monday night:
  • Based on their failures against the Saints, we figured run defense would be a big issue to monitor. And boom, Adrian Peterson went 75 yards on the first play from scrimmage. I’m sure some of the linemen could have done better to get off blocks, but weakside linebacker Xavier Adibi went way too far with his initial read, running himself out of the play.
    Brett Davis/US Presswire
    Matt Schaub appeared to have hurt his ankle when he was pushed out of bounds Monday night.
    The linemen in front of him couldn’t have reasonably been expected to get to where Peterson went, and the defensive backs behind him weren’t going to chase Peterson down. It was hardly the lone bad moment for Adibi. He got a roughing the passer penalty the announcers objected to but that could have been the kind of hit below the knees the league is frowning on, though it wasn’t a lunge. And later, Adibi and Glover Quin both had Percy Harvin lined up and bounced off him as Harvin ran for more yards. Adibi did finish with five tackles and a pass defensed.
  • Did Matt Schaub show something to his team, and his town, by returning to action after suffering a sprained left ankle? Maybe. And he was still taken out of the game earlier than planned. But I’m not sure proving a point is more important than being especially prudent there. He takes too much grief on the toughness issue, but here’s hoping he’ll be able to navigate his way out of bounds on the sideline without problems.
  • We had developments on the interior defensive line the day the Texans dealt the injured Travis Johnson to San Diego. Houston started Dan Cody, who’d been working behind Amobi Okoye at defensive tackle, at the nose tackle spot where Johnson spent much of the last four years. DelJuan Robinson, who’s been working as the starter there, was playing in the fourth quarter. Cody’s hardly the first guy to have his hands full against that offensive line, but was moved with ease on some plays. Guard Anthony Herrera turned him aside on one big Peterson run, if 15 yards qualifies as big for Peterson.
  • A replay review of an Andre Johnson catch of a deep ball from Dan Orlovsky on which he stepped out of bounds earlier than officials thought simply cannot take that long to sort out. I’m totally pro-replay, but a pause that long actually gives me pause. It was 46 yards, not 58 and it should have taken very little time to figure it out.
  • If Chris Brown is available to make plays like that fourth-and-1 conversion early in the third quarter when he bounced off Pat Williams, Steve Slaton is really going to benefit.
  • More reason to dislike Wildcat shenanigans: Brett Favre split out, compelled to throw a crackback block at safety Eugene Wilson that left him with a knee injury. If it proves serious, we’ve got a big story on our hands.
  • If Jacoby Jones is really fighting for a job, shouldn't someone else be getting a chance to field a punt?
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
 
 AP Photo/Chris Gardner
 Dan Cody, taking a breather during training camp in 2006, hopes to stay healthy this season.

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- At this point, Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Dan Cody appreciates the little things about football.

"It just feels good to come in after practice and be tired just like everybody else," Cody said. "I think that's probably the best part."

During Cody's three NFL seasons, he barely broke a sweat. Multiple knee and foot injuries have reduced the former second-round pick in 2005 to just 14 career snaps over two games.

Cody didn't play his rookie year because he tore knee ligaments in the first practice of training camp. He worked his way back to the field in November of 2006 only to play as a reserve in one full game, then injure his knee again in the first quarter of his second career game. Cody then landed on the Injured Reserve list in 2007 -- the third time in as many seasons -- with a broken foot and more knee complications.

Now, Cody feels he's finally due for a clean bill of health in his fourth season.

"You don't get respect in this business unless you're playing," Cody said. "That's just how it is. It's the nature of the game. You can even get respect if you don't play, as long as you're out there working. But when you're hurt and spending all that time on the bench, it's another thing. So it's just good for morale [to practice]."

Watching Cody practice this week displayed why the Ravens liked his potential coming out of Oklahoma. He is 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds with an impressive wing span. He also moves well in space, which the Ravens like on the outside of their defense.

As the veterans arrive in Westminster Wednesday, Cody is looking forward to just fitting in. In many ways Cody still feels like an unproven rookie. He mentioned trying to make some special teams units this year as one of his primary goals, then aims to gradually make contributions to an already star-laden defense.

"If I can just find my way on the field," Cody says. "...I think I can really show people what I'm capable of."

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