Maybe, just maybe, Courtney Upshaw is coming out of his shell.
The rookie linebacker, who it was assumed had the inside track on a starting job with the absence of Terrell Suggs (Achilles), had a few setbacks and didn't overwhelm the Ravens' coaching staff in training camp despite being the top draft pick.
Upshaw, however, was credited with a half sack in the opener vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, combining with Pernell McPhee for a takedown of Andy Dalton.
Upshaw had 8.5 sacks a season ago en route to a national championship with Alabama.
"I just want to go out and help this team. If (the sack means) me turning the corner that's it," Upshaw said. "I felt good getting that pressure knowing that I'm a step closer to actually get (full) one."
He has battled injuries to his right shoulder at least twice. He estimates he lost about 20 pounds and said he weighed in recently at 271.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees notices the difference.
"He's finally starting to feel better. He's been hurt and there are a lot of things he didn't do in preseason, part of it because he was hurt and part of it because he was learning," Pees said. "So I think that that is starting to come around a little bit now with him. He is starting to feel a little more comfortable in the defense."