Ravens Training Camp Battle Preview: Chris Canty vs Brent Urban vs Kapron Lewis-Moore


Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (99) against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals defeated the Ravens 34-17. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

For Ravens defensive end Chris Canty, facing young competition is nothing new.  After spending the early part of last offseason on the roster bubble only to return as a starter once again, the 32 year old roster stalwart is once again preparing to defend his starting job against a pair of youngsters – this time Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore.

With Haloti Ngata now in Detroit, Canty is the only defensive lineman on the current roster who is over the age of 26.  Coming back for a third season with the Ravens, Canty’s experience and leadership should be a welcome addition.  Canty has never been on a losing team over ten seasons, and has a Super Bowl ring to show for it.

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For his part, Canty doesn’t seem worried about losing his starting job, recently expressing a great deal of confidence in his ability to stay ahead of the competition.

“I’ve been a starter in this league for a decade. I don’t really see that changing,” Canty said at minicamp. “That’s being consistent, playing that position on the defensive front. That’s what I foresee.”

Related: Will Chris Canty Lose His Starting Job?

Canty may not be the pass rusher that he once was, but he is still an effective run stopper.  He finished the 2014 season as Pro Football Focus’ 6th best 3-4 defensive end in run stop percentage, yet came in last at 45th in pass rush productivity.

The Ravens are likely hoping that two promising youngsters returning from catastrophic injuries will show enough this offseason that they can be used in tandem with the veteran Canty.  Both Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore have flashed in spots before going down with their respective injuries.

Both have been declared 100% for training camp, and both have looked very good so far.

Urban, a 2014 fourth round pick, is a powerful and massive man at 6’7″ and 295 pounds.  He showed enough at OTAs to earn starter snaps, where he also earned a slap on the wrist for getting too close to Joe Flacco during drills.

Related: Brent Urban in the Mix to Start?

Like Urban, Lewis-Moore spent the entire 2014 season rehabbing his own injury after suffering several of them over the course of his career.  It’s what made the talented lineman slip to the sixth round of the 2013 draft after he was widely considered one of the top prospects in the nation.

Assuming that both Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore recover and avoid injury through this year’s offseason activities, the Ravens’ plan for them should be quite obvious.  Both should log snaps in a rotation with Chris Canty, but the door is obviously open for more.

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The Ravens aren’t afraid to let young players play.  Their current depth chart along the defensive line is a testament to that, and a strong showing by either will pay off in regards to playing time.

Ultimately, I expect the two youngsters to rotate with Canty through the season, particularly on passing downs.  Canty proved last season that he is pretty much finished as a pass rusher, and does his best work on obvious running downs.

If Canty and Lewis-Moore can sub in on passing downs, the Ravens’ pass rush could look even better than last season.  Combine one or both of those two with Terrell Suggs, Timmy Jernigan, and Elvis Dumervil, and you’ve got a pretty scary situation for opposing quarterbacks.

Next: Training Camp Battle Preview: Crockett Gillmore vs Maxx Williams

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