Michael McAdoo hasn't played in a competitive football game in more than three years.
The pass rusher out of North Carolina has spent his first two NFL seasons on injured reserve and was suspended during his final season in college. Now he's trying to work his way back from a torn Achilles tendon he suffered last offseason.
"It's go time," McAdoo said. "I feel like I have something to prove, so the biggest thing is getting through OTA's and minicamp healthy, and then go from there."
The 6-foot-7 outside linebacker signed with the Ravens after the 2011 supplemental draft. The Ravens liked the potential that he brought to the table as a pass rusher, and he came into the NFL at just 20 years old.
He was considered a project when he joined the Ravens, and now he's had two years to watch from the sidelines and develop an understanding for the mental side. His priority now is to translate that experience in the meeting rooms to the field.
"I'm very comfortable, but I'm just trying to get my swag back," McAdoo said. "The plays came to me. I just feel like I can do my thing now, move around. My goal is to open up some eyes and let them know this is what they really brought me in for."
Before getting hurt last year, McAdoo was off to a strong start in the offseason and said he expected to make some waves in training camp.
But then the injury ended his season, and some wondered if his* *opportunity in Baltimore had come to an end. Head Coach John Harbaugh emphasized that the Ravens still had plans for McAdoo, even though he was going to miss a third season in a row.
"He's not a guy we'll give up on," Harbaugh said at the time. "He's just going to be a project for us. He's going to get another year in the weight room and in the meetings and try to see if he can be a player next year."
That message from Harbaugh was reassuring for McAdoo.
"To hear a coach say that about you after all the things that you've been through, it definitely opened my eyes up. They got expectations and they know what I can do, so it's my job to go out there and do what I can."
McAdoo now finds himself in the middle of a competition at a deep outside linebacker spot. The group includes Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw, Albert McClellan, Pernell McPhee, Adrian Hamilton and rookie John Simon.
McAdoo says that what he brings to the table is his ability to get after the passer, and he'll have the next few months to show off that skill to coaching staff to prove he deserves a spot on the roster. "Basically I just want to say that I gave it my all," McAdoo said. "Whatever happens after that, I can't control it. I just want to make sure that I give everything I have."