Courtney Upshaw
Courtney Upshaw Looking For Breakout Season (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Courtney Upshaw is looking to have breakout season during his contract year. After seeing former teammates Paul Kruger and Pernell McPhee cash in on big money contracts, Upshaw is looking to do the same.

“Any player would be lying if they said it didn’t cross their mind that it’s their contract year. At the same time, in order for me to get a big payday like Pernell or anybody, I have to go out and handle business on the field,” Upshaw said. “Whatever it is, I’m going to go out there and do it to the best of my ability.”

I’m happy for Pernell. He deserved it, just seeing how hard he worked,” Upshaw said. “But with him being gone, we all want more snaps and I see it as an opportunity for me to get more snaps, especially in passing situations.

Upshaw knows he likely won’t receive the big pay day he is looking for unless he can record more sacks in 2015. The former Alabama product failed to record a sack last season but that doesn’t mean his impact wasn’t felt, just ask Ben Roethlisberger he is still probably feeling that hit from week two a season ago.

“Last year I felt like with that hit agains

“Last year I felt like with that hit against Ben, I thought I was going to be clicking,” Upshaw said. “But it didn’t work out that way.”

“I know the knock on me is not getting the sacks. I just feel like that would add more dimensions to my type of skill set, and show people that I can also do this, as well as kick butt on the line against tight ends, and dominate the run game.”

Upshaw will have the luxury of playing behind one of the league’s best pass rushing duo’s in Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. After adding rookie Zadarius Smith from Kentucky in the 4th round Upshaw knows it is his turn to step up. After years of drafting for the defensive side of the ball the Ravens decided to go offense in the first 2 rounds with Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams. Baltimore will be counting on guys like Upshaw to continue to develop and progress this defense to it’s maximal potential.