Lardarius Webb Healthy and Ready to Return to Dominant Form


Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive back Lardarius Webb (21) breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins (16) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

As recently as 2011, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb appeared to be a star in the making. Coming off a season that saw him pick off five passes and record 20 passes defensed, it looked like Webb, along with then rookie Jimmy Smith, would be a linchpin in the Ravens’ secondary for years to come.

But things went horribly, horribly wrong after that Pro Bowl-level season.  In game six of the 2012 season, Webb tore his ACL.  Upon his return in 2013, he struggled to regain form.  Across 16 games, Webb had two interceptions and only 6 passes defensed, finishing as the 19th best cornerback in the NFL in Pro Football Focus’ rankings.

Things only got worse in 2014.  After suffering a back injury on the first day of training camp, Webb sat out the entire preseason and the first four games of the regular season.  Repeated back spasms, along with a groin ailment, seemed to affect him the entire season, even though Webb appeared in all 16 games.  He slipped all the way to 78th in PFF’s rankings.

This offseason saw Lardarius Webb not only take a $2 million dollar pay cut, but he also shaved his trademark dreads.  But this offseason has a different feel to it for the soon to be 7 year vet, who has been quietly 100% healthy throughout.  Webb seems rejuvenated and ready to start over.

“I’m feeling awesome,” Webb said during minicamp.  “I’m back now, getting my feet acclimated out with the boys. I kind of missed them a little bit. So, I’m just having fun, getting the defense back and getting the secondary back where we’re supposed to be.”

“It feels good just to be able to run around and [not] have any pain.”

Head coach John Harbaugh seems to be pleased with Webb’s progress as well.

“Webby looks good. All I know is what I see right now. He came out and he looks, to me, like he’s in shape,” Harbaugh said. “His feet look really good. He’s moving his feet, he’s changing direction.”

More from Ravens News

The Ravens, despite negotiating Webb’s pay cut, have shown a lot of faith in him this offseason.  They didn’t draft a cornerback until the fourth round, and they didn’t sign a big name free agent.  Webb is still going to be counted on to start, with FA acquisition Kyle Arrington manning the slot.

It’s a roll of the dice considering how poorly Webb played in 2014, but it’s a clear sign that the Ravens are confident that he is finally healthy and ready to return to form.  If he even comes close to that 2011 performance, this secondary is going to bounce back in a big way.

Next: Ravens Training Camp Battle Preview: Cornerback

More from Ebony Bird