Ihedigbo becomes leader in secondary

Ihedigbo becomes leader in secondary
October 5, 2013, 7:00 am
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EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens, the day before their road game against the Dolphins.

Two-minute topic: Has safety James Ihedigbo become the leader of the secondary?

OWINGS MILLS – Ihedigbo has plenty on his plate this season, becoming a starter, calling defensive signals, and mentoring rookie safety Matt Elam.

Instead of being overwhelmed, Ihedigbo has embraced the responsibility. Watching former teammate Ed Reed gave Ihedigbo a role model to follow.

“Seeing from the leaders before me what it takes to win and be successful in this league,” Ihedigbo said. “That’s what I try to pass on to these guys and we’re headed in the right direction.”

Ihedigbo said he liked the way Elam had progressed.

“He’s like my little brother,” Ihedigbo said. “We work great together, and we watch film together. We study, make sure that he understands why we’re doing certain things. He’s already grasping the defense, and he understands that very well. But (we focus on) the little tweaks.”

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees has been pleased to see Ihedigbo take charge.

“He does a good job back there of tying it all together,” Pees said. “He’s a real good communicator in the classroom when we have him talk about stuff, when we have him call out things. He’s really precise. It’s real important for him that he views himself as kind of a leader back there.”

The Ravens’ secondary looked like a major weakness after being picked apart by Peyton Manning in Week 1. However, Ihedigbo’s play has been solid ever since, and he looked forward to facing Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill on Sunday.

“We’re going to prepare for everything we’ve seen him do throughout this year,” Ihedigbo said.

Morning thought: “That stadium is going to be rocking. It’s going to be live. They’re going to be geared up to play us.”

Ihedigbo, talking about Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.