Amy Sancetta/Associated Press
Pernell McPhee was not lacking for ambition when he talked to Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com about his goals for the 2014 season:
My individual goal is to hopefully lead the team in sacks. That’s going to be hard to do when you have Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw and Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata on the field. It’s going to be hard, but that’s my personal expectation. I want to get at least seven or eight sacks this year.
He went on to discuss his “serious” footwork and talked about how well he’s played so far in practices. Those reports may need to be consumed with an entire salt shaker considering the source, but there is no doubting the talent of the Mississippi State product.
McPhee racked up an impressive six sacks in his rookie season, finishing second on the team in the category. But injuries have hampered him since then and he hasn’t been as productive after switching to linebacker.
He’s fully healthy right now, however, and has the speed and agility to create pressure off the edges. Leading the team in sacks is unlikely, but McPhee could provide a nice boost for the defense in the way of some supplementary pressure on opposing QBs.
He’s a player to watch in training camp—both for 2014 and for the future of the pass rush.