Ngata on the mend after pectoral surgery

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is recovering well from a minor pectoral tear suffered during the Pro Bowl, undergoing surgery this offseason to repair the damage. He's expected to make a complete recovery well before training camp.

Ngata has been nagged by the pectoral injury for years, but has only missed three career starts. He missed all of those games last season due to an ankle injury.

Even while dealing with the pectoral injury, Ngata bench pressed 225 pounds 37 times at the NFL scouting combine when he was heading into the 2006 NFL draft where he was selected 12th overall by the Ravens.

The 6-foot-4, 345-pounder has recorded 184 career tackles, 6 1/2 sacks and three interceptions. Ngata is regarded as one of the most dominant interior defensive linemen in the league.

Entering the final year of his original rookie deal, Ngata is due a $996,250 base salary in 2010. The Ravens have made it a priority to sign Ngata to a long-term deal at some point.

"I don't want to speak out of turn, but nobody would disagree with the fact that Haloti Ngata is a guy that we have every intention of making a Raven forever," coach John Harbaugh said during the NFL owners meeting. "You can't say in this league nothing is certain obviously, but I know Haloti wants to be a Raven and I know he wants to do a long-term contract just as soon as he possibly can.

"There are some rules that make it a little bit tough this year. I'm still hopeful it can get done. If not this year next year. I'm a coach. I want to see it done as soon as possible and I think [general manager] Ozzie [Newsome] would, too. Haloti and there are some other guys too we want to get signed up as soon as we can for as long as we can."

NOTE: The Ravens have promoted veteran NFL offensive coordinator Al Saunders to senior offensive consultant, the team announced.

Saunders joined the Ravens last year on a consulting basis.

He has previously been an offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams, a wide receivers coach with the San Diego Chargers and an assistant head coach with the Washington Redskins.

Besides helping offensive coordinator Cam Cameron formulate game plans, his duties will include working with the tight ends and the wide receivers.


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