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Josh Bynes' Time To Emerge?


The Ravens' thin status at inside linebacker doesn't matter much considering it's still May, four months away from the regular season.

However, it presents an opportunity for somebody to impress.

That person is Josh Bynes, who, to this point, most famously clinched the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII victory with a special teams tackle.

Could Bynes be the next undrafted linebacker to emerge in the Ravens' defense?

With Rolando McClain retired, and Jameel McClain (back), rookie Arthur Brown (sports hernia) and Albert McClellan sidelined, Bynes is the most experienced inside linebacker on the field during Organized Team Activities (OTAs).

"I'll always be prepared to be that guy that steps up," Bynes said. "When I'm out there, I always act like I'm the starter. I am that guy and this is my defense. I'm never going to change that, ever."

The Ravens have a history of undrafted linebackers succeeding. It happened with Bart Scott, Dannell Ellerbe and Jameel McClain. All three became integral starters.

Bynes, a former national champion at Auburn, is climbing toward that status.

As a rookie, he spent most of his time bounding on and off the Ravens' practice squad, and played in just one game.

Last year, Bynes became a key member of the special teams unit and saw time as a defensive backup. Due to injuries to players ahead of him, he played in 10 games and started three, totaling 34 tackles. He recorded 13 tackles in Week 15 against Denver.

"Each and every year I'm going to get better, better and better," Bynes said, "and eventually become like Dannell, Bart and Jameel, who I've looked up to since I've been here."

Bynes said his knowledge of the game is what has improved the most. This offseason, he focused on improving his footwork and getting bigger. He said he weighs about the same, between 240 and 245 pounds, but feels much stronger.

"I look at my rookie photos and I'm like, 'Wow, I don't even look like the same guy anymore,'" Bynes said. "I'm a similar weight, but I'm much thicker."

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