The organization’s first-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft allowed zero sacks and quarterback hits in the team’s win against the Oakland Raiders and overtime loss to the Chicago Bears, according to Pro Football Focus. Stanley, who has given up only two hurries over that same span, has earned a 97.9 pass-blocking grade from the football analysis website.
The 6-foot-6, 320-pound Stanley was calm about the accolades.
“I’m just trying to be the best I can for my team and get out there and do my job to the best of my ability, and that’s really my main focus,” he said after Friday’s practice.
Stanley was part of an offensive line that shut out reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack in a 30-17 victory over Oakland on Oct. 8. Chicago sacked quarterback Joe Flacco three times in Sunday’s 27-24 overtime decision, but none of those occurred against Stanley.
Stanley’s recent performances have not gone unnoticed by coach John Harbaugh.
“He is another guy I talk to all the time about making a name for himself,” Harbaugh said Wednesday. “He does that with how you play. You are going to be lined up against the premier pass rusher most of the time, and he has another huge task this week. The spotlight is going to be on him, and that is the opportunity. In my opinion, he is destined to be one of the top tackles – if not the top tackle – in the league, and that should be his goal.”
Stanley would not go as far as Harbaugh did, but allowed that he is pleased with his development thus far.
“I feel like I’m improving,” he said. “I still think there are a lot of things I can still get better at. I’m just trying to focus on being consistent and continuing to play at a high level.”
End zone: Harbaugh sounded positive about cornerback Maurice Canady’s return to practice this week since tearing cartilage in his knee on July 29. “He looked good,” Harbaugh said. “I wouldn’t say he’s game-ready yet, but he can’t play anyway. I was kind of happy with it, to be honest with you. For not practicing for this amount of time, I thought he looked pretty sharp.” … Harbaugh did not sound nearly as optimistic about running back Danny Woodhead, who is on short-term injured reserve after injuring his left hamstring in the season opener at the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 10. “There is a two-week buffer there, so the way I understand the rules [is] when a guy like that comes back to practice, you still need a two-week cushion,” Harbaugh said. “So if he does come back next week, you’ll know there’s a two-week possibility. If it’s the week after that, or the week after that, there’s that two-week cushion. I can’t say he’ll be back next week, or if he’s even that close to it. If he was back next week, I’d be the happiest guy in the world – I can tell you that. It’s just a matter of where he’s at with rehabbing.”