Terry learning on the fly

WESTMINSTER -- For Adam Terry, traveling a distance of several feet to arrive at his new positional home is akin to the transition of an American learning to drive on the other side of the road overseas. The Baltimore Ravens' offensive lineman has to relearn his steps and technique, and adjust to blocking a different breed of defensive linemen as he shifts from left tackle to right tackle.

The move even involved gaining some weight. One week into training camp at McDaniel College, Terry is beginning to feel more and more comfortable as he enters his third NFL season as a full-time starter for the first time.

"It's pretty good right now," said Terry, a former All-Big East Conference left tackle at Syracuse. "I'm just getting acclimated to the right side. It's a progression. I've got to be ready by the first game. It's slow and steady.

"It's like if you're right-handed all your life and then you have to play left-handed. The footwork is a lot different. At this level, it doesn't matter. Wherever they want you, you have to be ready."

Terry is replacing Tony Pashos, a roughneck, blue-collar blocker who improved enough that the Jacksonville Jaguars signed him to a six-year, $24 million contract this offseason.

Pashos relied heavily on heart and a strong work ethic.

Terry is taller and bigger than Pashos at 6-foot-8, 330 pounds and is regarded as much more athletic and skilled in pass protection. However, he has yet to approach Pashos' reputation as an in-line scrapper in the running game.

"Tony was a good player, and that's evident by him going to Jacksonville and getting the recognition he got," Terry said. "In my opinion, I just have to be at his level and his standard that he played at or better. Whether we're contrasting styles or not, if I don't produce on gameday, it has no bearing."

Late last season when All-Pro left tackle Jonathan Ogden injured his left big toe, Terry was thrust into the starting lineup for the final two games of the regular season. He responded in a way that has only boosted team officials' confidence in him.

"Adam is a good football player," offensive line coach Chris Foerster said. "We've been grooming him for the last few years, but we didn't get to work him at right tackle as much as we wanted to.

"With Pashos gone, we're starting him from scratch with Adam at right tackle. He's learning quickly, and he has the ability and size you look for over there."

In his first NFL start last year, Terry shut down former Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter, a former Pro Bowl pass rusher, allowing no sacks or quarterback pressures.

Then, Terry walled off Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl defensive end Aaron Schobel in the regular-season finale, not surrendering a sack.

Terry appeared in a career-high 16 games last season, contributing in relief to a line that set a franchise record by allowing only 17 sacks to break the previous club mark of 35.

"Gaining that experience is going to help out, especially since I saw faster guys on the left side," Terry said. "On the right side, they're fast, but they're also big. That's the major adjustment."

In practice, Terry regularly tangles with four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Trevor Pryce, who notched 13 sacks to lead the NFL's top-ranked defense a year ago.

Terry has bulked up by about 15 pounds since last season, with his playing weight now fluctuating between 330 and 335 pounds. He'll need that extra size.

The left defensive ends Terry will compete against this year include: the Cincinnati Bengals' Bryan Robinson (6-4, 304), the Cleveland Browns' Orpheus Roye (6-4, 320), the New York Jets' Shaun Ellis (6-5, 285), the New England Patriots' Ty Warren (6-5, 300), the Pittsburgh Steelers' Aaron Smith (6-5, 298), the Arizona Cardinals' Darnell Dockett (6-4, 290) and the San Diego Chargers' Luis Castillo (6-4, 290).

Not to mention speedy pass rushers like the St. Louis Rams' Leonard Little, Chargers outside linebackers Shawne Merriman and Shaun Philips and Seahawks defensive end Patrick Kerney.

"I still kept my speed," Terry said. "The mentality is you need a little more weight, but you have to keep your agility to get acclimated to the bigger pass rushers. In the NFL, you've got to be ready and you have to be physical.

"You're talking about a blue-collar position that takes a lot of power. I have to make myself into that right now. The major concern for me was the weight, but I'm moving well. Now, it's just about putting your hand down and playing football."

Terry fared solidly in the Ravens' 10-7 scrimmage win Saturday over the Washington Redskins, holding his own during one-on-one blocking drills.

The key for Terry as one of two new starters on the line, including Chris Chester or rookie Ben Grubbs at right guard, is translating his August potential into consistent production this fall as he strives to protect quarterback Steve McNair and open holes for new running back Willis McGahee.

"There's a lot of pressure and a lot of expectations to perform," Terry said. "Come in every day and perform as a professional and everything else will take care of itself."

NOTES: Following today's practice morning practice at McDaniel College, the Ravens will launch an official team license plate to be announced by team president Dick Cass, linebacker Ray Lewis and tight end Todd Heap. License plates cost $55, which includes a $25 MVA fee and a $30 tax-deductible gift to the Ravens' community foundation. ...

The morning session is closed to the general public. ... Grubbs (knee sprain) and outside linebacker Antwan Barnes (sprained ankle) could return to practice early this week, according to Ravens coach Brian Billick. ... Wide receiver Clarence Moore, who missed the scrimmage with a mild hamstring injury, expects to return as soon as today.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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