Upshaw started his first NFL game with veteran outside linebacker Paul Kruger out with a back injury.
The second-round draft pick from Alabama finished with a career-high six tackles, one for a loss.

"I think Courtney covered his ground," defensive end Pernell McPhee said. "I really think he played great."

Upshaw has 10 tackles and a half-sack through two games.

Upshaw reported to training camp at over 280 pounds and initially flunked the Ravens' conditioning test before passing it on the second try and dealt with a sprained right shoulder throughout August. He's now down to nearly 270 pounds and moving around better.

“He’s on the way," Harbaugh said. "Courtney’s not there yet, and he’ll be the first to tell you that, but he’s on the way for a young guy. A setback by the injury, and by the conditioning level coming in, but I’m looking forward to seeing how fast he progresses in the next couple of weeks. It’s going to be interesting to see that.”

Where McClellan, Upshaw and the entire front seven needed to do more was in pressuring Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.

Vick had far too much time to operate, completing 23 of 32 passes for 371 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for a 94.7 passer rating as well as the game-winning touchdown run. He was only sacked twice, once by strong safety Bernard Pollard and once by inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, and was hit only three times.

Although Kruger said he'll definitely return Sunday night against the New England Patriots, Upshaw expressed confidence that he did well enough to garner more playing time.

"I feel I have, but it's all in the coaches' hands," Upshaw said. "I try to do what I do best every week."

Harbaugh noncommittal on Pollard

Although Pollard has already declared he'll play Sunday night against the New England Patriots despite a rib contusion, Harbaugh wasn't definitive on his status.


"We will see about Bernard," Harbaugh said. "He's got a little rib deal in there. It's just going to come down to him and how he can deal with that pain."

Too much ground surrendered
 

The Ravens surrendered extra yards after first contact, missing a higher amount of tackles against two elusive players in Vick and McCoy.


The Eagles rushed for 129 yards, gaining 3.1 yards per carry.

"It was a higher number of missed tackles, mostly due to the fact that's the way those guys run," Harbaugh said. "McCoy, he's going to be a make-you-miss guy. Against the Eagles, the missed tackles percentage on most teams is going to go up. Same token, I expect us to be a great tackling team. I expect us to be the best tackling defense in the NFL, and that's something that we've definitely got to chase."

End zone

Harbaugh declined to pour any more verbal gasoline on the Ravens' fiery disagreement with the replacement referees, who nullified Jacoby Jones' touchdown catch on an offensive pass interference call. "We do have confidence in the league in the way they approach the officials, both in the short term and the long term, so we'll trust them to take care of that," Harbaugh said when asked about the labor dispute between the league and the regular officials. "We'll focus on our jobs in getting our teams ready." As for the Ravens' complaints, Harbaugh opted to not pile on further after calling the game chaotic on Sunday: "As far as the officiating goes, I'm not going to have any comment about it because it all goes hand in hand. I'm not going to have any comment about it whatsoever in any way, shape or form." ... Harbaugh praised rookie kicker Justin Tucker, who connected on field goals from 56, 51 and 48 yards. "He did a great job, but next week is a new week so we'll hold his feet to the fire," Harbaugh said. "The thing I like about 'Tuck' is he's workmanlike. He really pays attention to detail, technique. It's never too big for him, so he's off to a good start." ... The Patriots signed former Ravens rookie safety Cyhl Quarles to the practice squad recently. Will Bill Belichick glean any insight from Quarles' Baltimore background, or the Ravens from former Patriots safety James Ihedigbo? "They signed a guy, Cyhl Quarles, so I'm sure he's being put under the bright lights right now being interrogated," Harbaugh said with a laugh. "There's always value to that, sure."
¿

awilson@baltsun.com