Friday, January 15, 2021

INTELLIGENT CONVERSATION

McPhee continues doing dirty work for Ravens defense

AUDIO VAULT

Luke Jones and Nestor psychoanalyze Ravens dancing on Titans logo and Lamar walking off postgame

Luke Jones and Nestor psychoanalyze Ravens dancing on Titans logo and Lamar walking off postgame

Todd Schuler and Nestor discuss a Ravens playoff win and the future of democracy in America

Todd Schuler and Nestor discuss a Ravens playoff win and the future of democracy in America

Luke Jones and Nestor give Lamar all praise after first playoff win

Luke Jones and Nestor give Lamar all praise after first playoff win

Luke Jones and Nestor recap an impressive road playoff win for Ravens in Tennessee

Luke Jones and Nestor recap an impressive road playoff win for Ravens in Tennessee

That time Tommy Lasorda dropped by for some steroids talk in baseball

We lost the legendary Tommy Lasorda on Friday. Back in 2002, the Dodgers Hall of Famer joined Nestor to talk about the changing state of baseball after chicks dug the long ball and the sports was drowning in PEDs.
Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

The Ravens had a number of huge performances in the 34-27 win over the New Orleans Saints, but one of their better ones came from a defensive player who didn’t even make a tackle Monday night.
While Elvis Dumervil (two), Terrell Suggs, and C.J. Mosley combined for four sacks, it was situational rush specialist Pernell McPhee who brought the most pressure against Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Playing 28 defensive snaps, McPhee produced four hurries and three quarterback hits, according to Pro Football Focus.
Regularly credited for doing the dirty work up front while Dumervil and Suggs produce higher sack totals, McPhee has been effective as either an edge rusher spelling one of the veterans or as an interior lineman in obvious passing situations. The 280-pounder’s combination of strength and quickness has made him arguably the Ravens’ best inside rusher since Trevor Pryce, so it only made sense that he’d exploit a suspect interior part of the New Orleans offensive line.
McPhee doesn’t produce as many sacks because it’s generally easier for quarterbacks to recognize pressure and get rid of the ball when it’s right in front of them — he primarily lines up inside in sub packages — instead of dealing with rushers coming off the edge, but the 2011 fifth-round pick effectively collapses the pocket and is a key cog in helping to run stunts for others to pick up sacks. Playing fewer snaps than Suggs or Dumervil this season, McPhee leads all Ravens defensive players with 14 quarterback hits and 26 quarterback hurries, per PFF.
The Ravens knew they had something with McPhee in his rookie season when he collected six sacks as a situational rusher, but an array of nagging injuries limited his performance over the last two seasons. McPhee has stayed healthy in 2014 and has proven himself as a productive rusher in defensive coordinator Dean Pees’ rotation.
Keeping McPhee on a pitch count with his playing time appears to have maximized his production while also allowing Suggs and Dumervil to remain fresh, but it will be interesting to see how much interest the Mississippi State product draws this offseason when he becomes a free agent for the first time. In that regard, McPhee collecting only four sacks to this point in the year might be a blessing when trying to quantify his value on the open market.
Despite a suspect secondary that’s dealt with a number of injuries, the Ravens rank fifth in points allowed and 15th in total defense because of the strong play of their front seven with McPhee playing a vital part.
Even if it’s gone unnoticed for large stretches of time like it did Monday night.
 

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