Redding Shows Off His Versatility

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Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh admired how serious newly-signed defensive tackle Cory Redding was throughout minicamp this past weekend.

"He's very workman-like, very serious," Harbaugh said. "I really like – besides the fact that he's a big, physical guy and he's got some pass rush ability – he's a very serious leader."

But according to Redding, he had more fun than he ever has in his career.

After spending seven years in Detroit and Seattle's Tampa-2 defenses, Redding enjoyed showing off his versatility in Baltimore's system. He played in almost every defensive line position in the Ravens' first minicamp and performed well in all of them.

"It's a lot of fun to play in a defense like this, not to have your feet in cement but to have freedom and move around," Redding said. "That's really what I enjoy about this defense."

At the same time, switching to Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison's defense is a major change. While Redding is no rookie, he was trying to decipher the playbook just like second-round pick Terrence Cody this weekend. And although he was somewhat operating in Cody's shadow (figuratively and literally) during his first Ravens minicamp, Redding's progress this offseason could have an equal if not bigger impact on the fate of Baltimore's defense.

The biggest change, Redding said, is having so many different players subbing in and shifting around on the line. Sitting at his locker Sunday after the final practice, he felt he had gained a good grasp on his alignments and assignments.

"Coming to this, it's a whole new world, man," Redding said. "I've never done anything like this. But for the most part, it was pretty good. I felt I was picking up things pretty quickly."

Redding, 29, is coming off a one-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks in which he recorded 20 tackles and two sacks while starting three games. His role will likely increase with the Ravens as he is stepping into Dwan Edwards' vacated starting role.

Redding would like to get back to his 2006 form, when he logged 47 tackles and eight sacks while starting all 16 games. But he warned not to get caught up in stats.

"You can't dwell on sacks," Redding said. "Of course I want good sack numbers, but I've got to do it within the scheme of the defense and do my job first. And then once my opportunities come, don't miss the layups and get the quarterback down."

Asked about why he's so serious, Redding chuckled a bit. The man who introduced the popular beanbag game, Cornhole, to the Ravens locker room has a different side when he's on the field.

"I don't put up with a lot of mess and I expect a lot from myself and a lot of guys," Redding said. "Whenever we're out there, we're out there for one goal and one goal only. And that's to win on every possession. I'm just a no-nonsense kind of guy. I don't know. I guess I'm just old school, man."

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