OWINGS MILLS, MD. (AP) - No one would blame Haloti Ngata if he talked trash on Sundays and bragged about his accomplishments for the rest of the week.
The Baltimore Ravens‘ 6-foot-4, 350-pound defensive tackle is equally adept at stopping the run and stalking quarterbacks. He can also drop back into coverage and occasionally plays fullback on offense.
Yet boasting is not Ngata’s style.
Ngata credits his success to hard work and attributes his unassuming demeanor to his parents.
“My dad had three jobs and my mom just focused on us kids,” Ngata said. “My dad pushed it on us to always be humble, never to put anyone above you or below you. I’ve always kind of been like that. It’s been great for me. That’s helped me out throughout my life.”
He currently ranks second on the team behind Lewis in tackles and has two of Baltimore’s seven sacks.
“Ngata is playing as good as any defensive lineman in football. There’s no question about it,” Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said. “We certainly have to be mindful of how we’re trying to handle him, how we’re trying to block him, not only in the running game but in pass protection because he’s shown to be disruptive in both phases.”
“You don’t find guys that size that can move like he can move,” Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said.
Mattison said Ngata has great pride and is tremendously intelligent.
“What he allows us to do is move him around and play different positions without changing everything. He gets it,” Mattison said.
For the most part, Ngata’s job is to push aside offensive linemen so that Lewis will be free to make the tackle from his middle linebacker position. Lately, however, Ngata has been removing linemen from the play and making some of those tackles himself.