By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
9:33 PM EDT, October 31, 2012
A year ago as a rookie, Ravens defensive end Pernell McPhee emerged as a scourge of AFC North quarterbacks.
He recorded six sacks to finish second on the third-ranked defense in the NFL.
Now, though, McPhee's frustration is bubbling over, as he's been unable to replicate that success after two arthroscopic surgeries on his right knee and weight gain that have robbed him of his quickness and closing speed.
"Hell yeah, it bothers me," said McPhee, who's roughly 290 pounds, 10 pounds heavier than last season. "It ain't no secret. I came in with high expectations. I'm not doing it. I'm disappointed in my play.
"When I watch film, it ain't like I'm getting pushed around. I know what's going on and I don't have a lot of explosion right now. I'm kinda slow off the ball."
The former Mississippi State standout has just a half-sack in seven games and 16 tackles. The sack he split was in the first game of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals.
McPhee acknowledged that his surgically repaired knee is a major factor in his regression as a player this year.
He underwent one surgery during the spring and another clean-up procedure prior to training camp.
"It's got a lot to do with it," he said. "If you can't come off the ball, how can you make a play? If you're slow off the ball, or a step off the ball, how could you make the play? I'm just trying to come off the ball and fit into the defense. I'm a soldier and this is an army right here. We need every soldier we got. I feel like no matter what that if I can walk or move, I'm going to go out there and play.