Happy, healthy and excited to be back on the field with his teammates certainly described Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb after yesterday’s practice.
For Webb, OTA’s are something minor in the grand scheme of things however as he enters into his sixth year in the Ravens defensive backfield he’s happy just to be a part of it.
“Practice is good, I’m glad. It’s kind of fun to get back with the guys,” Webb stated following practice.
“[I’m] happy to see some of the faces around here. One thing, the guys are having a good time. I’m going hard, just trying to get back on track.”
Webby is back on track this offseason and after missing last season’s OTA’s due to a knee injury, the significance of Webb hitting the practice field is a sign he’s finally 100% healthy.
“It feels good; it feels more bouncy. [I’m] just happy to be on the field, running around with no pain. [I’m] just trying to take over my leadership role that I can in the back end and just be me.”
Webb acknowledged that even when he did come back in 2013 that it took awhile for him to get comfortable and get the feel again of opposing wide receivers.
“It was about the middle of the season [before I felt normal]. At first, I was just trying to get the trust back again,” he responded when asked about what last year was like for him working his way back from an injury.
“I couldn’t plant when I wanted to, couldn’t do the things I wanted to do, couldn’t jump. Everything just wasn’t as fast as I wanted it to be. And then, towards the end of the season, it just started coming back natural, as I kept working on it.”
In 2013, Webb posted the NFL’s second-most Passes Defensed (22), adding 2 INTs and recorded a career-high 74 tackles (63 solo). His 16 games played in 2013 also matched a career high and it was the first season in which the USA Today All-Joe Team player started all 16 games.
Webb, when healthy, certainly has showed he can be a true shutdown corner in the pass happy NFL.
“I am capable of being a lockdown [cornerback], like I am. I’m just ready for the season and will just keep on working.”
“I’m going to get back to where I’m supposed to be.”
With huge salary cap implications ($10.5M per salary cap guru Brian McFarland), Webb will certainly need to return to his old form and provide consistent productivity.
The sky is certainly the limit for Webb as the 2014 season approaches if the veteran can stay healthy.
The Ravens opted not to address the third corner position in the draft, showing faith in both Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson as possible replacements for nickel corner Corey Graham who left via free agency.
Webb certainly shares the same faith in them as well.
“They’re going to be big for us coming up this year, knowing that we didn’t take any corners in the draft. [General manager & executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] knows he has two great, young guys that are coming up,” Webby responded about both Brown and Jackson.
“You’ve got Asa Jackson who can play the nickel and outside, but mostly better inside. And Chykie Brown playing good. He’s had his chance to get out on the field and [gain] experience, but now he gets thrown in and it’s his. He’s going to get to show you all what he’s capable of.”
With Smith and Webb along with Elam and Terrence Brooks, the Ravens secondary will be fun to watch in 2014.
Well, maybe not for opposing quarterbacks…
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