Pernell McPhee went into this season with stars in his eyes, ready for a bigger role.
But after six games, the sophomore defensive end sat frustrated in front of his locker Wednesday.
A fifth-round pick last year, McPhee was a pleasant surprise with six sacks. He has just a half sack so far this season.
"Hell yeah it bothers me," McPhee told reporters. "It ain't no secret. I came in with high expectations and I'm not doing it. I am disappointed in my play."
McPhee has logged just 16 total tackles so far this year despite making six starts. He had 23 tackles last season with no starts. The Mississippi State product saw far fewer snaps than usual in Houston (16 of 80 total defensive snaps).
McPhee attributes his troubles to not getting off the ball as fast as he did last year. For that, he points to lingering injuries.
McPhee underwent a knee procedure this offseason, which put him on the team's injury report for two of the first three weeks. He's back on the Ravens' expanded injury report this week, now with a thigh ailment. McPhee was the only player who didn't practice Wednesday.
"When I go watch film it's not like I'm getting pushed around," McPhee said. "I don't really have a lot of explosion right now; I'm slow off the ball."
McPhee has played through his body's unwillingness, however.
On top of McPhee's ailments, the stretched-thin defense has been without linebacker Terrell Suggs for all but one game so far this year, dealt with injuries to defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and safety Ed Reed, and lost linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb.
"I'm a soldier and this is an army right here. I feel like we needed every soldier that we got," McPhee said. "I felt like no matter what, as long as I could walk and move, I was going to go out there and play. As long as we get the W at the end of the day, my individual stats don't matter."
McPhee said he needs to work harder at getting off the ball, and do better recognizing plays and formations.
"I've just got to get over this hump that I'm in and start playing my type of football," he said. "I've got to stop worrying about all the other things and just play my ball."