With the exception of two games last season, Lamar Divens was a healthy scratch on gameday. This summer, the Ravens defensive tackle is intent on turning those numbers around.
"It's motivation, but it was also disappointing," Divens said after Tuesday's practice at the team's training facility in Owings Mills. "I prepared just like everybody else, and it was just a numbers fallout. I didn't get to play as much as I wanted to, but at the same time, it's motivation. I want to play every down possible. So hopefully, things will work out this year differently."
It could be a different season for Divens. With the Ravens releasing nose tackle Kelly Gregg prior to the start of training camp, that opens the door for players like Divens, Arthur Jones and Brandon McKinney to possibly secure more playing time this season.Entering his fourth year in the NFL, Divens is already a veteran on the defensive line, trailing only end Cory Redding (nine years of experience) and tackles Haloti Ngata and McKinney (six each) in that department.
Divens, a restricted free agent who was prohibited from practicing until last Thursday, said he is making progress in terms of trying to catch up with his linemates who have been practicing since July 28.
"I think I'm getting back to the feel of it," he said. "I got a late start because I was a restricted free agent. But I feel that now, I'm making a play here and a play there, and I'm slowly working my way back into it. Each day, I try to focus on something different. Today, I focused on my footwork. Yesterday, I focused on my pad level. So hopefully, by Thursday night [in the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles], I can put it all together and have a complete game."