Bennie Anderson Q&A

Player Spotlight Name: Bennie Anderson Position: Offensive guard College: Tennessee State Measurables: 6-foot-5, 335 pounds Age: 25 Hometown: St. Louis, Mo. Acquired: Anderson was signed by the Ravens as a free agent in 2001 after his stint with the XFL, a defunct Vince McMahon creation, where he played for the Chicago Enforcers.

Resume: Anderson started 13 games last year as a rookie for the Ravens, beating the odds to make the roster of the then-defending Super Bowl champions. This fall, he has battled through various ailments to start 15 games, protecting two different quarterbacks in Jeff Blake and Chris Redman and contributing to running back Jamal Lewis' 1,241 rushing yards. In college, Anderson was a two-time all-Ohio Valley Conference selection, and a first-team selection among traditionally black colleges.

Role against Pittsburgh: Anderson will be paired opposite brawny Steelers nose guard Casey Hampton, often sliding out in pass protection to pick up defensive end Aaron Smith. An avid weight lifter, Hampton is known for his initial quickness and steady power. Smith carries a reputation as a hard-charging pass rusher. Both are considered classic players for their respective position in the Steelers' patented 3-4 defensive alignment.

Ravens Insider: "What makes Hampton so tough to block?"

Anderson: "He's not a tall guy, first of all, and he does have a nice low center of gravity. He stays low and he's strong."

Ravens Insider: "How have you done in the past against Hampton?"

Anderson: "I think we've done real well against him. I won't say we contained him. I will just say we did real well."

Ravens Insider: "What's your scouting report on Smith?"

Anderson: "He plays his technique. He's a very disciplined player and he always plays hard. That's what makes him a good player. He has good size and strength, too."

Ravens Insider: "How much would an 8-8 record mean to you?"

Anderson: "It would mean a lot. There's a big difference between 8-8 and 7-9. To go .500 would mean a lot as far as what we've accomplished."

Ravens Insider: "How far do you think this team has to go to get back to where it was?"

Anderson: "We have a lot of talent here. We just need to work together and learn the game."

Ravens Insider: "Have some of these younger players' performances surprised you."

 Anderson: "No, not really. Our front office staff, they always find players. If a guy is on this 53-man roster, he has talent. You can pretty much expect him to be competitive and be a good player."

Ravens Insider: "What can you improve upon for next year, personally? How did you improve physically to prepare for this season?"

Anderson: "Just learning the game more. I didn't lose any weight from last year. I got stronger in the weight room. With my upper body strength, you can just tell. I'm only going to get better through hard work and repetitions in practice."

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