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Baltimore Sun

Is it finally Antwan Barnes' time?

Count outside linebacker Antwan Barnes among those Ravens who made the most of the summer's passing camps. The three-year veteran looked quicker and more fluid coming off the edge than in the past.

That's the result, he said, of working in the offseason with a Ft. Lauderdale trainer on his quickness. It's also the result of spending three years in the system.

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"I'm not thinking too much now," Barnes, 25, said. "I used to think a whole lot about where to line up and other stuff. It's knowing the defense, knowing what to do when the ball is snapped and what to do before it's snapped."

Barnes has played in 38 games with the Ravens, but was a game-day inactive in five of six games in the middle of last season after missing Cincinnati's Cedric Benson on a touchdown run in October.

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When he was on the field, he was able to make plays. He had his first career interception against the Chargers. Over 11 games, he also had three sacks and one forced fumble, and seven tackles on special teams. Finally, he says, he's starting to feel comfortable.

"When I first came in the NFL, I felt like everybody was up here," he said, raising his right hand high over his head. "Now I feel like they're my size."

Actually, what he was referring to was the speed of the game. "I caught up to it," he says.

If so, he could be another weapon in the Ravens' pass rush, a rush that wasn't all that effective in 2009. Could this be Barnes' year to make an impact, he was asked?

"I know it is," he said. "It's got to be."


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