Nose tackle Terrence Cody started all 16 games last year. He was a constant participant in the offseason workouts, even the voluntary ones. He said he felt like a new man, in the best shape of his life.
But with all arrows seeming to point up for Cody, he lost his grip on his starting job as training camp went on, and it was made official Monday night.
Veteran Ma'ake Kemoeatu, who sat out football last year and had to drop more than 70 pounds just to get back into the league, started alongside Haloti Ngata and Pernell McPhee.
While Cody and Kemoeatu both saw lots of playing time, the 2010 second-round pick wants his starting spot back.
"I want to get it back bad," Cody said. "But at the same time I want to be a team player. I'm not going to sit and pout about it."
Cody said he's "good with" the change, meaning he's not angry about it but still would like to change it. Coaches have told him it could be the other way around. Cody said coaches tell him he needs to improve his technique.
"I look at it as motivation for me," Cody said. "I can work on my technique and get better and do the little things that I need to work at to get back in that starting role."
Kemoeatu had just one tackle in the regular-season opener against Cincinnati, and the Bengals had success running against the Ravens. Cody said he didn't play a snap in the first quarter, but rotated in for the rest of the game.
"It doesn't matter who's starting as long as we've got a good rotation," Kemoeatu said. "We're keeping everybody fresh inside. It's good, I like it. We'll be rotating all year long. If Haloti needs a blow, T.C. will go in there. If I need a blow, T.C. will come in there."