Fresh from a performance in which he shut out Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney in the second half of the Ravens’ 23-16 victory on Monday night, Ronnie Stanley is preparing for Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. The left tackle is also studying an opponent he watched as a teen-ager.
Detroit claimed seven-time Pro Bowler Dwight Freeney off waivers on Nov. 23. Freeney is 37 years old, but he had three sacks and three tackles in four games for the Seattle Seahawks before getting released.
Freeney is listed as a backup to Ansah (five sacks), but Stanley was well-prepared for questions about Freeney.
“He adds another dynamic to that pass rush,” said Stanley, 23. “I know he just came to that team recently, but he’s been a dominant force on the edge for years. He’s a guy like [Ravens outside linebacker] Terrell Suggs, who has been in the league for so long that he must be doing something right. So he knows how to do a lot of good things on the edge, and we’re definitely preparing for him.”
Freeney’s reputation as a dangerous pass rusher has been built on his trademark spin move to get past blockers, and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg praised Freeney’s longevity.
“He’s played a long time, he has a lot of experience,” Mornhinweg said. “Now we don’t have him on film [in Detroit], so we have to go back here to Seattle and in his past history to look at him, and have a plan for him.”
Stanley is expected to make his 11th start of the season despite a sore right knee that he injured on Monday against Houston. He practiced fully on Thursday, but said he takes greater comfort in his outing against Clowney.
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“I knew it was a big week with me missing the last game,” Stanley said. “I knew I had to come out and play good football the way I know how to play and up to my standards. I know there’s still a lot of room for improvement. I’m happy with the way that I played, but I know I can still become better.”