When Terrence Cody joined the Ravens as a second-round pick in 2009, he came to Baltimore with a big body and even bigger expectations.
Cody was a dominant run-stuffing lineman during his college days at Alabama, and the Ravens envisioned him developing into a similar force in the NFL.
But Cody's first three years in the NFL have been more of a struggle, as he's shed pounds and tried to adapt his game to the pass-heavy NFL. Last season Cody lost his starting nose tackle job and was used sparingly on defense.
Now he's headed into the final year of his rookie contract, and Cody is focused on getting back to his dominating ways.
"I know I didn't play that well," Cody said. "One of the biggest things of my offseason this year is to get back stronger and get back to my old self. I would call it my old self, my young self. I got to get back to that guy because that guy was strong, powerful."
Cody, 6-foot-4 and 341 pounds, has slimmed down since coming into the NFL. He weighed about 370 in college, but said he got down to about 325 last season.
"That was Mount Cody. That's my old self," Cody said, referencing his college nickname. "Now I'm like 'Speed Bump Cody' because I'm smaller."
Losing the weight helped with his conditioning, but he struggled to maintain his strength. Instead of eating up two blockers on the interior of the line, Cody would get pushed off the ball and allow blockers to get to the linebackers in the second level.
"Me being able to take on two guys at the same time is what I have to work on, and get back to doing," Cody said. "I'm already big, but I just want to get stronger. Now I'm a smaller size and I've lost a lot of power, losing that weight and trying to keep it off. That's what I want to improve on, just my overall strength."
The Ravens defense as a whole struggled to stop the run, and the group uncharacteristically finished the year ranked 20th in the NFL against the run.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome pointed to the interior of the defensive line as an area in need of improvement this offseason, and he's upgraded the unit by adding veterans Chris Canty and Marcus Spears. Both of them have the ability to play inside or outside, and they are expected to compete with Cody for playing time.
"You just have to stay positive and look at it in a good way," Cody said about the recent signings. "It just makes you compete harder in practice, and eventually the way you practice and everything dictates how it's going to be.
"Each one of those guys are brought in because Ozzie and the guys upstairs think they'll fit well in this defense."
Adding Canty and Spears to go along with Cody, Haloti Ngata, Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee is expected to give the Ravens an improved front line. It will also allow them to be more creative in how the defenders get used, and Cody said he's open to moving around the line more based on the defensive schemes.
The next few months will be critical for the fourth-year defensive lineman who's intent on proving he can still be a force at the NFL level.
"It all depends on me," he said. "Whatever I do dictates how I'm going to be placed on the team. I just have to have a good offseason and good camp."