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Clowney is making an impact for a Baltimore pass rush that shares … – Hickory Daily Record


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — In six games with the Baltimore Ravens, Jadeveon Clowney has already surpassed his sack total for all of last season — and defeated three of his former teams.

Not bad for a guy who came on board in mid-August.

“Me coming here, being a part of this group, man, they’re just bringing the best out of me,” the 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick said. “The work comes easy when you’re enjoying it.”

The Ravens have been a sack-happy bunch this season, tying for the NFL lead in that category going into Week 7, and Clowney is one of the reasons why.

The 30-year-old pass rusher had a pair of sacks in the fourth quarter of last weekend’s win over Tennessee. He now has 3 1/2 on the season after managing only two in 2022 with Cleveland.

Baltimore enters this weekend’s game against Detroit ranked No. 2 in the NFL against the pass. That’s after finishing 26th last season and last in 2021. The Ravens have improved in that area despite injuries to cornerback Marlon Humphrey and safety Marcus Williams.

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One caveat is that Baltimore hasn’t been facing elite quarterbacks — aside from Joe Burrow, who has had his own injury concerns. But the Ravens can be awfully encouraged by a pass rush that was a bit of a question mark before the season.

When Baltimore signed Clowney shortly before the season, it seemed as if it was almost an insurance policy — a veteran who might be able to provide some help if younger pass-rushing options such as Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo didn’t pan out. Since then, Ojabo (ankle, knee) has gone on injured reserve and Oweh (ankle) hasn’t played since Week 2. Ojabo has one sack and Oweh has none.

And yet, the Ravens as a team have 24, by 11 different players. Justin Madubuike (4 1/2) and Patrick Queen (3 1/2) are among the team leaders along with Clowney. Safety Kyle Hamilton had three in one half against Indianapolis in Week 3.

Clowney said joining the Ravens has been rejuvenating.

“I told them today, ‘This is the best D-tackle group I’ve played with,’ and it makes my life a lot easier when you’ve got three guys that can go in there and just push the pocket and knock everybody back and shut the run down,” he said Wednesday. “It makes our lives easier on the edge.”

Clowney also says Baltimore’s Mike Macdonald might be the smartest defensive coordinator he’s had.

“He puts everybody in position to make plays,” Clowney said. “The stuff he draws, I’ll be like, ‘Mike, keep dialing it up. Keep dialing it up.’ I enjoy playing for him. Like I said, he makes sure he puts the game plan together, we try to go out there and execute.”

Clowney spent his first five seasons with the Houston Texans after they drafted him in 2014. Then he was with Seattle and Tennessee for a year each before two in Cleveland. The Ravens already have wins over the Texans, Titans and Browns, and Clowney can try for a sweep of his former teams when Baltimore takes on the Seahawks next month.

What’s important now, however, is how well he’s fitting in with Baltimore.

“First of all, he’s a really good player. He’s very talented. Talent travels well,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Also, I would say his attitude and work ethic are just top notch. He has a great mindset. He comes out here every day, gives you everything he’s got.”

BRIEFLY

STEELERS: Pittsburgh is trying to bring rookies Joey Porter Jr. and Broderick Jones along slowly. The play of the Steelers’ top two draft picks may be forcing them to speed up the process. Porter, a cornerback, got the first pick of his career in a win over Baltimore on Oct. 8. Jones made his first NFL start in the same game while filling in for the injured Dan Moore. Moore is expected to play when Pittsburgh travels to Los Angeles to face the Rams. Porter’s playing time could increase against the versatile Los Angeles offense. Both players say how much they play is out of their hands and that they’re just trying to stay ready.

CHIEFS: Wide receiver Mecole Hardman said he spent part of last season in the hospital after an abdominal injury caused him to lose feeling in his legs. Hardman signed with the Jets in free agency and was traded back to Kansas City, the team where he won two Super Bowls, earlier this week. Hardman said the injury occurred against Tennessee and caused him to miss the rest of the season. Doctors believe it was a condition that causes inflammation of the joint between the left and right pubic bone, and that caused swelling and pain in the groin and abdomen. Hardman is healthy now and hopes to help the Chiefs as soon as Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

JAGUARS: Jacksonville is working to shorten the amount of time it would play outside the city during a potential $1.4 billion stadium renovation. Team president Mark Lamping has a proposal that would reduce the number of seasons the Jaguars are away from EverBank Stadium from two years to one. It’s a significant change that should help ease some external angst regarding a pending project that would tie the team to one of the NFL’s smallest markets for decades.

BROWNS: Quarterback Deshaun Watson practiced for the first time in nearly three weeks after missing two games with an injured right shoulder. Watson threw roughly two dozen passes during the portion of Thursday’s practice open to media members. It’s not yet known if he’ll play Sunday when Cleveland visits Indianapolis. Watson has been dealing with a strained rotator cuff in his throwing arm.

RAIDERS: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will not play Sunday because of a back injury when Las Vegas visits the Chicago Bears, a person with knowledge of the situation said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Raiders have not announced Garoppolo’ playing status. Either 15-year veteran Brian Hoyer or rookie Aidan O’Connell will start for Las Vegas.



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Rohit Palit

Periodista deportivo y graduado en Ciencias de la Comunicación de Madrid. Cinco años de experiencia cubriendo fútbol tanto a nivel internacional como local. Más de tres años escribiendo sobre la NFL. Escritor en marcahora.xyz desde 2023.

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