Written By BSR Contributor: Cody Colston
Everyone knows General Manager Ozzie Newsome can work some magic when it comes to contracts. From giving Joe Flacco a big contract but keeping cap friendly numbers the first few years, to signing Elvis Dumervil to a relatively cheap contract for a player of his level. The first player of Ozzie’s free agent class may be the one who makes the most impact, Defensive End Chris Canty.
Canty, 30, spent 3 years with the Dallas Cowboys and then, 3 years with the New York Giants before joining the Ravens. “It’s a team with the ability to win another championship,” Canty said about joining the Ravens.
Canty has 19 career sacks and has never finished a full season without recording at least 20 tackles.
He’s been praised for his versatility, playing at all the defensive line spots in his career. “…Chris Canty could start out as a five-technique to the tight end and if something happens where he moves, he could end up being the three-technique…” Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said of Canty giving an example of the defense’s flexibility. In his 9 year career, Canty has only not played in a full season twice, 2009, where he was nagged by hamstring and calf injuries, and 2012, where he needed extra time to recover from knee surgery in the offseason.
Canty brings a big share of veteran leadership and experience to the Ravens as well. “(He is a) True pro…he has walked into our room and just fit in like he has always been here. He is a really good pro. He studies. He asks great questions. When you give him a tip or something, he takes it.” Pees stated of Canty. With the loss of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, Canty’s veteran leadership is much needed, especially on the defensive line, where the Ravens drafted Brandon Williams and have Arthur Jones, both young guys with huge upside. The veteran praised the Ravens training camp, saying it reminds him of “…those Bill Parcells training camp practices when I was in Dallas, when we’d have eight straight two-a-days.” he commended. Canty also brings a familiarity with a 3-4 defense, which he played in college and with the Cowboys.
The player Canty reminds me the most of is Defensive End Cory Redding, very athletic and reliable in both the run and pass. In his two seasons with the Ravens, Redding recorded 7.5 sacks and the Ravens defense was the top 10 both years. A pass rusher is exactly what the Ravens needed last year too, placing middle of the pack with 37 total sacks. If Canty even touches Redding’s numbers with the Ravens and with the other additions GM Ozzie Newsome made and the return of Terrell Suggs, I expect a rejuvenated pass rush from the Ravens. Even if Canty does not live up to expectations the Ravens still have Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee, who converted to Outside Linebacker this off-season, who are both still looking for their breakout seasons. Haloti Ngata can also move to Nose Tackle, a position he say he feels better playing and Aruthur Jones can also move to Defensive Tackle. I have much faith in Canty though; he’s been very consistent throughout his career and brings a very positive attitude to the Ravens. “I’m looking forward to playing in that aggressive defense with Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs, I’m excited for it.” Canty said, “…I wanna win another Super Bowl before my career is over.”
Follow Cody on Twitter @The_OtherCody.