By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
11:45 AM EDT, June 14, 2013
With his towering height and impressive wingspan, defensive lineman Chris Canty is one of the most imposing players on the Ravens roster.
Canty had a dominant minicamp, disrupting passing lanes and shoving offensive linemen into the backfield.
He looked explosive and showed no lingering effects from a knee injury that bothered him last season and drew scrutiny from teams during free agent visits, including the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans.
"The knee is not a problem at all," Canty said as the Ravens wrapped up their mandatory minicamp. "The knee is fine. I feel great."
Listed at 6-foot-7, 317 pounds, Canty is actually even lighter than that. The former New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys starter appears leaner than the past.
"Physically, I slimmed down a little bit," Canty said. "I wanted to focus on conditioning this offseason. I'm excited about it."
Now, Canty is shaping up as a prized acquisition for the Ravens.
They signed him to a three-year, $8 million contract that included a $2 million signing bonus, a total of $2.8 million in guaranteed money and a $500,000 roster bonus on the fourth day of the 2014 league year.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti made it a point to warmly introduce himself to Canty and shake hands after practice.
Canty intercepted a pass from backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor at the line of scrimmage this week, leaping into the air to pick off the football.
“He’s bigger than I thought," said Ravens senior defensive assistant Steve Spagnuolo, who didn't overlap with Canty during his tenure as Giants defensive coordinator. "Of course, they are all big to me. You can’t coach that height. He puts his hands up, man. There’s not a coach in the world that can take a six-foot guy and do that. He’s been very impressive to me.”
Canty, 30, is a former Cowboys fourth-round draft pick from Virginia who has recorded 297 tackles and 19 sacks.
He was limited to nine games last season due to the knee injury, registering 26 tackles and three sacks.
"Yeah, I feel pretty good," Canty said. "I've been around here most of the offseason having the opportunity to get with the coaches and other players and learn the terminology."
He's expected to provide more athleticism and power to the Ravens' front seven, which faltered against the run last season.
The Ravens envision a versatile role for Canty, who primarily played right defensive tackle this week with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata still sidelined with a sprained left knee suffered during the Super Bowl.
He's expected to line up everywhere from defensive tackle to defensive end, but isn't expected to play nose tackle.
"I'll be doing a little bit of everything, whatever the coaches ask me to do, whatever position they want me in, that's what I'll be doing," Canty said. "A lot of the concepts are very familiar to me, a lot of the stuff we did earlier in my career. I'm just trying to learn the terminology and build a rapport with the guys. That's been great."
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