OWINGS MILLS - Pernell McPhee is, as teammate Arthur Jones described him, an "unsung hero" for the Ravens' defense.
McPhee doesn't start. He's still in the process of adjusting to being an outside linebacker. And he has just two tackles through Baltimore's first two games.
But McPhee was on the field 33 percent of the Ravens' defensive snaps against the Cleveland Browns Sunday and appears to have a role on Baltimore's defense even though he's not a starter.
"If you noticed, we didn't have to keep our outside linebackers on the field the whole time [against Cleveland]," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We were rotating Terrell [Suggs] in and out of the game. ... Pernell was in the game for Terrell [and] played a lot on the run downs and did a real good job.
"The more guys you can play, the better off you're going to be at every position."
McPhee was limited by knee and groin injuries last season, but he's just two years removed from a six-sack season as a rookie in 2011.
Baltimore moved McPhee from the defensive line to outside linebacker during the offseason. And although McPhee is admittedly still getting comfortable at outside linebacker, he's contributed during each of the Ravens' first two games, especially against the run.
McPhee had just one tackle against Cleveland, but it was a tackle for a loss.
"Pernell's a playmaker," Jones said. "He's an unsung hero. He just comes to work and does his job. He made so many great plays last game. He's just a guy that's always there and is a hard worker. He doesn't complain. He doesn't cry that he switched positions. He just works, and you appreciate guys like that."