Pernell McPhee wanted to become more of a run-stuffing presence.
So, the Ravens' starting left defensive end has bulked up to 290 pounds after playing roughly 10 pounds lighter as a rookie last year.
And McPhee is confident that he hasn't sacrificed speed and quickness following his six-sack season last year.
"It gives me a little thump in the trunk," McPhee said with a laugh. "It holds me down a little bit. I got a little extra power."
After operating as a situational rusher last season and finishing with 23 tackles, two pass deflections, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble, the former fifth-round draft pick from Mississippi State beat out Arthur Jones for a starting job last month.
Jones and McPhee are still expected to divide up the workload, though, in Monday night's season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium.
"We're all going to get a lot of playing time," said Jones, who had 18 tackles last season. "We're going to try to be a terror this year, me and him and the rest of the defensive line. We want to set a tone early in our division. We want to dominate. We're out there for a reason."
At 6-foot-3, 315 pounds, Jones is regarded as more of a run-stopper than McPhee.
McPhee's strength is getting after the quarterback as the Ravens' leading returning pass rusher with NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs sidelined indefinitely with a partially torn right Achilles tendon.
"It's basically like me and Cory Redding last year, he plays heavy on the run and I play heavy on the pass," said McPhee, who has made a sound recovery from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee during the spring. "We're both trying to transfer our games and try to be versatile with it. We're got to play as one unit, help each other out, take on double-teams and sacrifice for each other and play our defense. Both of us are vets. We have to do our jobs. We know how to compete and what it takes to win."
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