Lardarius Webb assuming large role in Ravens' secondary
The Ravens' secondary is going to have a different look from last year. The people are different, but the growing feeling seems to be it could be better.
In a recent ESPN blog about the AFC North, Matt Williamson said that he "expect[s] the Ravens' secondary, like the rest of their defense, to be vastly improved from a year ago. Of course I realize that nine-time Pro Bowler Ed Reed is gone, along with fellow starting safety Bernard Pollard and starting cornerback Cary Williams.I feel Williams' value was overblown during the Ravens' Super Bowl run, and while he is an enforcer, Pollard is a liability in coverage...Reed and Pollard were replaced by veteran Michael Huff and Matt Elam."
Williamson also wrote that he expects Huff to kind of step into Reed's former job often, watching the deep middle, but Huff also can go man versus wide receivers. And in re Elam, he 'is a great hitter like Pollard, but is much younger and has tons more upside."
Another big question for Williamson, as for many others, is Lardarius Webb. How good will he be after the season-ending knee injury in 2012? Williamson calls him "one of the best corners in football who no one seems to know."
The Ravens signed Corey Graham to help on special teams and maybe give some depth in the secondary, but he stepped up big last year, and Jimmy Smith did better at times, especially in the Super Bowl.
This will be Smith's third year, and he needs to go to the next level this season. Williamson noted that "if that happens, this secondary should be among the league’s best, but depth here overall isn’t great."
Still, the secondary should be better. It's going to be younger, faster, quicker and better in coverage, all of which are positives.