The Ravens' review: 2012 season
To keep you entertained during the 2013 NFL offseason, blogger and reporter Matt Vensel will go back and review the performance of each significant Ravens contributor during the 2012 season. He started with the team's free agents and recent retires and will break down a new Ravens player every weekday.
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Courtney Upshaw, outside linebacker( Gene Sweeney Jr. / Baltimore Sun / November 11, 2012 )
GS: 9 | GP: 16 | Snaps: 874
Season in review: Despite being the team's top draft pick in 2012, Upshaw flew under the radar, perhaps because he was often doing the dirty work in the trenches. The second-round pick had just 1 1/2 sacks, but he was a reliable run defender who finished eighth on the team with 60 tackles last season.
Signature moment: In the first half of the Super Bowl, Upshaw short-circuited a San Francisco 49ers drive deep into Ravens territory when he forced 49ers running back LaMichael James to cough up a fumble.
Stat that stands out: 35 -- defensive stops in 2012, fourth on the team, as charted by Pro Football Focus.
Pro Football Focus grade: +0.4 overall | -20.1 against the run | -21.4 as a pass rusher | -1.7 in coverage.
Outlook for 2013 and beyond: The Ravens signed three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, but that shouldn't be viewed as a lack of confidence in Upshaw, who will still have a meaningful role. He will probably be used similarly to how the team used Jarret Johnson. He should often be on the field in running situations and will play plenty of snaps, especially if he improves his pass-rushing skills in the offseason.