OWINGS MILLS, Md. — He is the run-stuffer back for a return tour with the Ravens.
"It’s a full circle moment. I'm enjoying it for sure," said defensive tackle Michael Pierce.
He has rejoined the team with which he spent the first four years of his career. After a two-year hiatus he is back in Baltimore after signing a three-year deal.
"It’s like a homecoming for me. That was a no brainer," he said.
Pierce tallied three sacks, four quarterback hits and 20 tackles in eight games with the Vikings last season. A torn triceps and illness caused him to miss the other nine. He is on-board in Baltimore to help bolster a defense that was the best in the league against the run in 2021, giving up 84.5 yards per game. The 6-foot, 345-pounder said he improved during his time away from the Ravens.
"As a player I think I’ve been rushing a lot better. I’ve been around the quarterback a lot this camp so far and I’ve just been working on that part of my game."
"Michael Pierce is a mountain of a man," said Ravens assistant head coach/defensive line coach Anthony Weaver. "The thing about him, when he puts his hands on you, you can’t help but feel him. Even when I’m doing individual drills I feel like I’m fighting a bear."
"I think I’m getting better at the pass rush," added Pierce. "I did well last year. I just got to keep working on that part of my game."
Pierce isn’t the only member of the defensive line back for a second stint with the Ravens. It’s a homecoming for Brent Urban as well.
Urban joined Baltimore on a one-year contract.
"It seems like a place that’s really loyal to its players that have played before," he said. "We have Tony Jefferson come back, Josh Bynes and things like that. That’s not something you see too many other places. So, there is a kind of loyalty once you are in the program. Once a Raven always a Raven, like a lot of people say."
Urban spent 2015-2018 with the Ravens. The last three years he played with the Titans, Bears and Cowboys. He adds depth to a line he thinks will be among the league’s best.
"This is probably the most talented defensive line I’ve been a part of, interior, top to bottom. There is really no drop off. It’s a really talented group and one that kind of has all different shapes and sizes. We can kind of attack you however you want to play offense."