The aftermath of two arthroscopic surgeries on his right knee has created mounting frustration for Ravens starting defensive end Pernell McPhee.
After a rookie season where he ranked second on the team with six sacks, McPhee is trying to regain his speed as an edge pass rusher.
Much to his chagrin, it's been a much quieter season for McPhee so far with six tackles and a half-sack through four games.
"No doubt, I feel I can play better than what I'm playing," McPhee told The Baltimore Sun. "The way I feel sometimes limits my abilities and what I can do there. I don't really have my instincts from last year and my get-off.
"A lot of people don't know that I missed half of training camp with two knee surgeries. It's tough trying to get my leg strong and play all 16 games. I'm out there, I'm fighting, I'm giving it all I got."
McPhee underwent one surgery in the spring and another clean-up procedure prior to training camp.
Then, McPhee took a helmet to his knee on the first play of the game during the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"I was feeling 100 percent finally, and that kind of slowed me down," McPhee said. "A lot of people, fans and critics, want me to do what I did last year and improve on that. I just want to execute and take on blocks for my teammates."
After an encouraging first season for McPhee dovetailed by Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs' torn right Achilles tendon, the former fifth-round draft pick from Mississippi State was projected as a potential breakout player and regarded as a pivotal figure on the defense.
However, the injuries have slowed down his anticipated progress.
McPhee denied that bulking up to 290 pounds had robbed him of his quickness.
"I feel quick, but the explosion from working in the weight room and squatting and leg pressing leading up to the success I had last year, I wasn't able to do that this year because of the knee," McPhee said. "I just keep on fighting. Hopefully, I get both legs right by the end of the season and get going."