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You Can't Coach Chris Canty's Size


At the conclusion of the Ravens' offseason program, free-agent acquisition Chris Canty stood out from the pack.

The defensive lineman caught the eye of his teammates, coaches and media members, showing off athleticism and versatility that is part of an overhaul of the Ravens' defensive front.

"Very positive impressions of Chris Canty," Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the end of minicamp. "He can do a lot of things along the line of scrimmage. He's a good player, very good player."

Canty's presence was evident as soon as he stepped on the field.

At 6-foot-7, he's the tallest player on the defense, standing almost a head above most of his counterparts. And he isn't just tall. The nine-year veteran weighs 317 pounds, and that unique blend of length, power and speed makes him difficult to block.

"He's bigger than I thought," Senior Defensive Assistant Steve Spagnuolo admitted.

Canty is active at the line of scrimmage and knows how to use his size to his advantage. One of the highlights of minicamp came when he worked off a block and then leapt in the air to intercept a pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Canty made the catch and rumbled his way back on a return before getting brought down just before the end zone.

"You can't coach that height," Spagnuolo said. "He puts his hands up, man. There's not a coach in the world that can take a six-foot guy and do that. He's been very impressive to me."

The Ravens signed Canty this offseason after he was cut by the New York Giants as part of a salary cap purge. Canty had spent the last four seasons in New York, registering nine sacks in his time with the Giants.

He missed seven games with a knee injury last year, but showed no lingering signs of the injury during minicamp practices open to the media.

Bringing him to Baltimore was part of an overall effort by the organization to rebuild the defensive front with players who can stuff the run and also get after the quarterback. Canty can play defensive end and defensive tackle, which will allow the Ravens to use multiple looks up front and also slide Pro Bowler Haloti Ngata into the middle of the line.

In addition to signing Canty, the Ravens also added veterans Marcus Spears and Elvis Dumervil, and drafted Brandon Williams. The additions – along with players like Terrell Suggs, Arthur Jones, Pernell McPhee, Terrence Cody and DeAngelo Tyson – give the Ravens plenty of depth up front.

"We've got a tremendous group of talent up front," Canty said during an interview on 105.7 The Fan. "We're starting to put it together. I think toward the end of OTAs and minicamp, we were starting to put some of those things together and I'm just excited about continuing to build that rapport going into training camp."

With several players who can play multiple positions, the Ravens have the ability to mix up their schemes and assignments on the line, making it tough for offenses to know what to expect.

"I'm curious to see it," Canty said when asked about how offenses will match up against them. "I'm glad I don't have to worry about gameplanning against us."

Canty was a regular participant in the offseason program, and his veteran presence was an attractive component to signing him. He won a Super Bowl with the Giants in 2012, and he knows what it's like playing a season tabbed as the "defending champions."

Canty's experience and work ethic has already shined during the offseason, and the Ravens are excited to see his production this fall.

"He's a really good worker – tremendous attitude," Harbaugh said. "I really like him a lot."  

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