But even though Baltimore’s stacked in the defensive trenches, there’s still a spot for an emerging piece from last year – defensive tackle Art Jones.
Jones is listed as the Ravens’ starter at defensive tackle on their first depth chart of the preseason. He shouldn’t be overlooked.
“Art [Jones] is having a tremendous camp. He really is,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Sunday. “He’s quick, he’s fast [and] he’s playing with better technique than he’s ever played before. Art is having his best camp.”
Jones started to establish himself last season. The 2010 fifth-round pick played in all 16 regular-season games and started six.
He made 47 tackles and showed increased pass-rush ability, notching 4.5 sacks after not having any in his first two years. All of his sacks came within a three-game span in which Jones was simply terrorizing offensive linemen. Jones also had a sack and recovered a key fumble in Super Bowl XLVII.
“I feel like I showed flashes of what I can do and that I can do even more,” Jones said.
Jones received a second-round tender as a restricted free agent this offseason, showing the value the organization places on him. Now he’s entering a contract year.
“I have a sense of urgency. The time is now,” Jones said. “I’m trying to work hard every single day to get better and get to new levels. I want to leave my mark here in Baltimore.”
Jones is listed ahead of Williams on the depth chart. Spears, who is more of a wide-bodied run stuffer in the defensive tackle mold, is at defensive end.
Jones has been working with Spears and Canty, two longtime NFL veterans, in training camp. Just as he learned from departed defensive end Cory Redding, Jones is picking up tips here and there. Canty is known for his pass-rush technique while Spears excels at gap control in the run game.
“It’s just a blessing to have two guys that played in this league for nine years,” Jones said. “I go to those guys every day to see if I can improve my technique. They’re in Baltimore for a reason. We’re all elevating each other’s games.”