Terrence Cody's pro career didn't get off to the best of starts.
The mammoth defensive tackle injured his hip early on in minicamps, and made a rookie mistake by opting not to report the injury to team trainers.
Wanting to stay on the field and practice with his new team, Cody tried to fight through the pain, only to see the hip flare up even more, eventually forcing him to sit out most of the last week of practices.
"I felt like it was just a little bruise and stuff, so I felt it would just go away in a couple days," Cody said after yesterday's minicamp. "But it ended up staying with me."
Cody had a talk with the trainers, who told him that while toughness is appreciated, he needs to report any injuries so the team knows where he's at health-wise.
Yesterday, with that issue behind him, Cody was finally healthy enough to return to the practice fields, and on back-to-back plays during full team drills, the Alabama product showed why the Ravens decided to invest one of their two second-round picks on him in last month's draft.
I'll let Cody describe the first play, which occurred late in the practice with the second-team offense and defense on the field:
"It was a blitz play and I hit the 'A' gap and kind of bull rushed, and got back into the backfield," Cody said. "And Troy [Smith] was right there in front of me, and there was nothing he could do. So, I just kind of grabbed him and the ball flew out and [I] went to wrestling for the ball."
Saying that Cody "kind of grabbed" Smith would be like saying Ray Lewis kind of gets fired up during games. Cody engulfed the Ravens' quarterback, wrapped his arms around him, and nearly made Smith a part of the sod that makes up the team's practice fields.
(I should note that this came during what are normally non-contact drills, when the most physical plays you'll generally see are when a wide receiver and cornerback get tangled up going for a jump ball.)
Laughter broke out amongst the players and coaches on the sidelines, and a few players (including the always-lively Antwan Barnes) sprinted out 10-15 yards onto the field to shout encouragement to the rookie defensive tackle.
On the very next snap, Cody again got a good push into the backfield and batted down a Smith pass, drawing a chant of "Mount Cody!" from one of the defensive players on the sideline.
Asked after practice to describe Cody's pancake hit, head coach John Harbaugh opted to avoid making any obvious food jokes.
"I'm not going to go there," Harbaugh laughed. "I think there's a lot of opportunity on that, with the pancake comment, but we'll stay away from that.
"He looked good today," Harbaugh added. "I think the thing I'm most impressed with... He's really a bright guy. I mean, he really does a good job studying the defense. Really, in the first mini-camp, as much as we threw on him, he came out here and picked it up really quickly.
"He works hard in the weight room. He works hard in the conditioning stuff, so all plusses so far. Obviously, when the pads come on, I think it'll even be more of a strength for him, but he's done well so far."