Phillip Hunt had been a pest in the Ravens' backfield throughout the second half but he had little to show for it. Hunt, the reigning Canadian Football League sack champion, was the one to flush Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor out of the pocket before Taylor threw an interception in the end zone to Jarrad Page, but that doesn't show up on the stat sheet. In fact, despite putting consistent pressure on the Ravens throughout his snaps, the only things Hunt had on record was a roughing the passer penalty.
But finally, with the Ravens facing a third-and-2 in the red zone with just over three minutes left in the game, Hunt got his sack. Defensive tackle Marlon Favorite, who put in an impressive night's work as well, collapsed the interior pocket, allowing Hunt to snatch on to Taylor and force a Ravens field goal. Though Favorite converged on Taylor shortly after Hunt got there, the generally humble Hunt made sure to take credit for his first sack as an Eagle.
"Oh, of course it was me," Hunt said when asked who got to the quarterback first. "Marlon did hold him in the pocket so he couldn't run, but I came along and got a good hit on him. Most definitely I'm going to say myself."
As one of the surprising standouts during training camp, it's important for Hunt to make an impact during the preseason games as he pushed for a roster spot. We know that defensive line coach Jim Washburn is wont to rotate his defensive linemen extensively, a strategy that could pay serious dividends for Hunt.
"I surely hope so," he said. "With the cast of guys we have right now, I hope I can just slide in there and be able to contribute to the team in a pass-rushing fashion with those guys.
"It's great because you can take what other guys do well against offensive linemen too and use that against them. Just studying on the sideline watching Trent Cole and Darryl Tapp and Babin and Juqua (Parker) and all those guys and then coming off either mimicking their moves or playing off them. If they do a speed rush and they make it around the edge, I know (the tackle) is going to be sitting back far and I can make an inside move, so little things like that contribute when you have great depth at the defensive line."
Critiquing his performance following the game, Hunt said he played well, but needs to maintain focus on containing the quarterback in the pocket. Several times Thursday night, Hunt rushed Taylor, only to have the mobile quarterback break the pocket to the outside. Still, the former University of Houston standout thought he "took advantage" of the opportunity. And after two years above the border, Hunt, a one-time rookie free agent with the Cleveland Browns, enjoyed the next step in his second crack at an NFL job.
"It felt great," he said. "The guys, they backed me up a lot and everybody had trust in me and I just felt great about the opportunity I had to be on this type of platform and just do what I do well on this type of level in the NFL."