BALTIMORE,Md. — Baltimore Ravens corner-back Lardarius Webb was willing to take an outright pay reduction to stay with the team. He knew his cap number needed to be reduced to a more manageable number and he obliged. The main reason that Webb wanted to come back was what he called “a nice atmosphere” as he smiled to the media. He said that the team has nice coaches and that his teammates are “just off the charts.”
Last year was a tough year for the Ravens secondary. They were decimated by injury. Webb was not healthy for most of the year as he battled a back injury. He came into mini-camp with the mindset that he is going to return to being the play-maker that he once was before he got hurt.
Webb had a solid day of practice in day two of mini-camp. He defended passes against much bigger players such as Max Williams and Marlon Brown. Webb broke up a pass to Williams on a deep crossing route during the team portion of practice. He also knocked away a pass that was intended to Brown on a fade route to the corner of the end zone.
His answer to why he is able to compete against bigger receivers was pretty simple. “It’s all about competition. You have to compete. I tell all of the shorter DB’s that you have to play with heart. It’s all about competing at the line of scrimmage and all over the field.”
Webb feels that what was once a unit that needed to improve will be a strong suit for the Ravens in the 2015 season. He feels that the secondary can be top five in numerous statistical categories. The most important one to Webb was turnovers.
“Our secondary can be top five in everything. We want turnovers. If we can just get some turnovers, we can go a long way.” Webb continued; “We need to get some take-aways. That is our thing, let’s get the ball back to Joe Flacco and let him do his thing. If we can give him extra possessions, it will be a big year.”
The secondary should be able to create more turnovers with the addition of free safety Kendrick Lewis. He has picked up the defense really well. Jimmy Smith is also returning from injury and Will Hill returns for another year as well.
Losing their top two corners for a good portion of the season was definitely a bad thing for the team. Although Webb wasn’t at OTAs, he still did what he needed to do in order to get ready for the season. Webb said that he got one on one training while the team was at OTAs. He feels that it was what he needed to do to get his body back in shape and to work on his weaknesses. So far, the results are showing.
“I am feeling awesome. I wasn’t here for OTAs but I am back now getting acclimated. I am having fun getting the defense back and getting the secondary back where it’s supposed to be.” Webb said; “It feels good to run around and not have any pain. We are working on this secondary and just putting the work in to get us back.”
One thing that comes with being healthy again is the possibility for Webb to be a contributor in the return game. He said that he is gunning for the punt return spot because he feels that he is a play-maker and wants to make plays to help the team score more points.
“I really like the return game. It was something that set me apart when I came out. I want it. I would love to return punts. I will be challenging for it. I want to be that play-maker to make some big plays. I have to be smart back there and I think they’ll make a good decision.”