Heading into last season the Baltimore Ravens secondary was looked at as the weak link on the dominant Ravens defense. However, thanks to the emergence of Lardarius Webb that all changed. I’m not sure I can agree with his assertion that Baltimore has the best secondary in the game. However, I will say that Webb is the best cornerback that nobody is talking about. Forced into the starting lineup last year because of multiple injuries, Webb showed he is the most talented cornerback on the roster, had a breakout season and played at a Pro Bowl level. His outstanding season earned him a brand new six-year contract extension worth reportedly 50 million dollars.
The Ravens defense is aging. Ray Lewis will eventually lose a step and Ed Reed’s future is cloudy, but thanks to Webb’s emergence, the team has another young cornerstone that appears to be talented enough to transition into the team’s lynchpin in the secondary when his time comes to take the torch from his childhood idol.
Lardarius Webb joined 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore on The Scott Garceau Show to talk about how special the day was when he signed his new contract, on the ups and downs that he has gone through to get where he is, on Ed Reed being his idol when he was growing up, on the young secondary growing up together last year, and how it feels to be mentioned along the same lines of Darrelle Revis, Nnamdi Asomugha and the other top corners in the league.
How special the day was when he signed his new contract:
“Very special day. You always dream about making it to the NFL and stopping your mom from working and that day it came true. Just the smile that I could see on my mom and dad’s face that it seems like I made it and I can be comfortable now. I can help my family out and move on. I can just live now.”
On the ups and downs that he has gone through the get where he is:
“It took a lot of hard work and I have been through a lot of ups and downs while I have been a Raven already. I’m proud and so happy to be able to be around here for six more years, to play beside Ed Reed for however many more years he is here, to be able to take that spot whenever he and Ray (Lewis) decide to move on, just to be that guy I feel privileged just to be in that position.”
On Ed Reed being his idol when he was growing up:
“Yes he was. When you walk into my room you see pictures of Ed Reed on the wall but I pay attention to the guys. They study hard and differently but I don’t just hold it in, I pass it on to the next guy, the Jimmy Smith’s of the world and Cary Williams and the next guys we draft up. Anything I can tell the young guys, I’m in their ear. That’s my role and that’s my part to help these guys and give them all the information they need to succeed, even a guy of free agent that is just trying to make it. I want to see him succeed so I’m going to give him everything he needs to be the best he can be.”
On the young secondary growing up together last year:
“It was a good thing. We got Jimmy Smith and Teryl Austin, he’s our new DB Coach, with Jimmy coming in and Cary being a first year corner, he took it back to the first beginning, he started over and taught me the corner position from the beginning like I was a rookie. That was a great thing because he had a chance to slow it down and basically to put it my way because I always played safety so he kind of slowed it down for me and ‘this is what corner is, this is what you have to be able to do.’ With all of that, all of us just learned together and I still learn stuff from Jimmy. I turn around and say ‘Jimmy can you explain this or show me’ and he’ll tap me on the shoulder and ask me the same things. We just look at it as we’re a group and we want to be the best group in the NFL and a lot of people say ‘oh you all made the statement that you’re the best defensive back group in the league’ but yes I feel that way because the guys we have in and the way they work, they way they’re improving, there’s no doubt we have the best in the game. With Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed in the back, man that just finishes it off. That’s a pretty good group I think.”
How it feels to be mentioned in the same category as Darrelle Revis, Nnamdi Asomugha and the other top corners in the league:
“Yes it does but I know how far I have to go. I pay my respect to the guys that have been there and done that and I don’t try to jump the gun too quick. I know about the Revis’s, the Nnamdi’s, the Charles Woodson’s, the Champ Bailey’s, and I want to get there one day and I still have a lot of work to get there. (Host: You’re on your way.) Trust me I’m putting the work in to be there. I want to be the best cornerback in the NFL, not Revis. I don’t want you to say Revis every time. No disrespect, I’ve seen the guy play ball and he’s great. He’s a great player, a great DB but I want to be the guy.”