Ravens nose tackle Terrence Cody showed good progress in his second NFL season, starting every game for the Ravens and upping his tackle total to 34 after making 13 in 2010, his rookie season. But Cody, who is entering his second year as a starter, feels that he was physically weaker last season because of weight loss.
Cody, who reportedly weighed close to 400 pounds during his college career at Alabama, shed weight last offseason after his physique was scrutinized throughout his rookie season. (Who could forget that failed conditioning test during his first training camp?) Cody attempted to play at around 335 pounds last season.
But last week, Cody hinted that he might have lost too much weight -- or maybe too much muscle -- before the season. He said he has developed improved dieting habits and has been working to get his strength back.
“I feel like I am getting a lot stronger,” Cody said at last Wednesday’s OTA. “Losing that weight last year kind of made me a little weak because I lost it a little too fast, but working out with [Ravens strength and conditioning coach] Bob [Rogucki] and those little ‘Superman’ workouts and stuff, I am feeling good.”
So did Cody’s play tail off last season as a result? The statistics say no. Then again, the numbers can be misleading, especially when you’re trying to measure the impact of a space-eating nose tackle like Cody.
But Cody had 17 tackles in the first half of the 2011 season and 17 in the second. He made 20 tackles in the team’s final six games, including playoffs, as he played some of his best football down the stretch. Perhaps most importantly, the Ravens ranked second in the NFL in rush defense in 2011, allowing 92.6 yards per game.
Can the Ravens improve to first in that category with a stronger Cody and a fully-healthy Haloti Ngata?