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In the first start of his professional career, the Ravens hope Terrence Cody learned a valuable lesson.
At the end of the first quarter of Baltimore’s 37-13 win over the Carolina Panthers, Cody lined up over left guard, and the rookie had his legs taken out on a run play up the middle.
Toppling like a wide sycamore, the 6-foot-4, 350-pounder was easily taken out and running back Mike Goodson went over him for 45 yards, eventually setting up a Panthers field goal that made the game 10-3.
“You have to be able to play the chop block. You can’t get cut,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said in his Monday press conference. “On defensive line, a defensive play, you can’t get chopped, you can’t get knocked off the ball and you can’t run around behind blocks. Those three things just cannot happen.
“He got chopped, and that created the hole defensively.”
Cody got 18 snaps on Sunday, the most playing time he’s seen all season.
But after he was felled on Goodson’s burst and knocked off the line of scrimmage a few more times, the Ravens want to see more improvement from the 57th-overall selection in the 2010 draft.
“He played OK. He can play a lot better,” said Harbaugh. “We expect him to keep playing better and better. We need him to be a force in there – in the middle. And I know he wants to do that.”
Certainly, Cody was brought in to be a run-stopper. In two years at the University of Alabama, no back hit the 100-yard mark with Cody starting.
If he continues his development, Cody should be able to help the NFL’s ninth-ranked run defense (allowing 101.8 yards per game).
Goodson totaled 120 yards on Sunday, although he needed 13- and 9-yard gains in garbage time to get there.
“They did a good job, scheme-wise, on that one,” Harbaugh said of Goodson’s big run. “We corrected it after that and that issue never came up again. Sometimes they catch you in the front and they run the perfect play, too. So, you make an adjustment, you tweak it.”