That defensive end Paul Kruger finished the Ravens' 17-12 win against the Carolina Panthers Thursday night with a team-high 1½ sacks is not startling. That defensive tackle Kelly Talavou registered the same number of sacks is.
The 6-foot-2, 350-pound Talavou isn't exactly known as pocket collapser, but there he was Thursday night, taking down Hunter Cantwell twice on the Panthers' final drive of the contest.
"I just told my coach, 'Let me be free a little bit,'" Talavou said. "I just shut off the guard and bull-rushed the crap out of him. Thank God I was there to make the sack."
The coaching staff has remained high about Talavou's talent, but he belongs to a deep defensive line group that includes two draft picks in Terrence Cody and Arthur Jones and two veterans in Lamar Divens and Brandon McKinney.
"I think it was important, but I just look at it as I'm trying to do my job and trust everyone around me that they're going to do their job," said Talavou, who made the team's active roster last season and appeared in three games. "I don't really worry about the competition."