Ronnie Stanley remembers when he was a rookie just a year ago. So as he braces for Sunday’s matchup with Pittsburgh Steelers rookie outside linebacker T.J. Watt, Stanley is not overlooking Watt simply because it’s his first year in the NFL.
“It could be an advantage,” Stanley said of his experience compared to Watt’s, “but I try not to think like that. Everyone’s a professional football player. He’s just like I was last year. People probably thought they had an advantage on me, but I think I held my own pretty well.”
Watt, the 30th overall selection in April’s NFL draft, became the first player in league history to produce two sacks and one interception in his debut in a season-opening game. In Pittsburgh’s 21-18 win against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 10, Watt finished with six tackles, five solo stops, and two tackles for loss.
A strained groin prevented the 6-foot-4, 252-pound Watt from making his third consecutive start in a 23-17 overtime loss at the Chicago Bears on Sunday, but Stanley has been studying the former Wisconsin product.
“I think he’s a speed rusher,” the 6-6, 320-pound Stanley said. “He does bull a little bit, but he likes to use his speed and he’s good at it. He has good hands, and he works the edge pretty well.”
So how does Stanley intend to limit Watt?
“I’ve got to make sure I have the right technique to stop all of that,” he said. “That’s definitely big for me because if you have the right technique, you can stop pretty much everything.”
End zone: Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he was extremely pleased with the way his team practiced this week after the disappointing loss to the Jaguars. “We have a lot to prove after that game, no question. You always have a lot to prove,” Harbaugh said “You don’t like going out there and getting your butt kicked at any time, and our guys, we all feel that.” … Harbaugh gave outside linebacker Terrell Suggs the day off from practice Friday. … The Steelers listed five players as questionable for Sunday’s game: offensive linemen Ramon Foster (thumb) and Marcus Gilbert (hamstring), linebacker James Harrison (illness) and defensive backs Sean Davis (ankle) and Mike Mitchell (hamstring).