Harbaugh hints that Timmy Jernigan was demoted for inconsistent motor

Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has gone from Haloti Ngata's heir apparent to second stringer. 

Evan Habeeb/Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan was supposed to be the heir apparent to Haloti Ngata, but he’s already found himself taking a backseat to rookie Carl Davis.

Davis, a third-round pick out of Iowa, was in the starting lineup last Thursday against Pittsburgh and played 39 snaps to Jernigan’s 17, according to Football Outsiders. Based on head coach John Harbaugh’s comments, Jernigan’s inconsistent motor is the prime reason for the demotion. 

“He’s very capable of being a real factor inside there, and it’s especially true when he plays a certain way, when he really gets after it, when he cuts it loose,” Harbaugh said per The Baltimore Sun. “That’s what we’re trying to get him to do, get off the ball, get off blocks, run to the football, be a physical force in there, play fast. Sometimes too much thinking is not good. He knows the defense now, and we expect him to play with a real high motor. When he does that, he’s very effective.”

There were questions about Jernigan’s energy level coming out of Florida State, but he filled in quite capably as a rookie during Ngata’s four-game suspension last season. It appears he’ll have to step it up to earn back the reps he’s lost over the last two weeks. 

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