Last season the Baltimore Ravens got so close to the Super Bowl that they could taste it. Instead of ending their season in jubilation though, the Ravens’ season once again ended in heartbreak. Heading into a season where Baltimore is looking to defend their AFC North crown and make a run to a championship, numerous obstacles have been placed in their way. Running Back Ray Rice was slapped with the franchise tag but remains unsigned as his teammates are participating in OTA’s; Joe Flacco continues to look for a new contract extension and reigning Defensive Player of the Year; Terrell Suggs, injured his achilles this offseason and is expected to miss most, if not all of The Ravens are going to try to make yet another run with this core group of players but the window of opportunity is closing fast and the road looks to be much tougher with what has transpired this offseason.
Lardarius Webb joined 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore to talk about whether the terminology is different under new defensive coordinator Dean Pees, how important OTA’s are, what he makes of some of the veterans not being at OTA’s, whether Ray Lewis or some of the other vets could help the younger players by going to OTA’s and whether it has sunk in that he is getting paid like one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL.
Whether the terminology is different under new defensive coordinator Dean Pees:
“Yeah that is about the only thing that has changed, the terminology. Some of the plays are the same, we’re just changing the names to them. He’s kind of making it a little easier for the younger guys and for the older guys to learn the new plays, just making it simple, simple to learn the game of football.”
How important OTA’s are:
“It’s very important for everyone. For me, I’ve learned this week the importance of technique and how to stick with it and it will pay off. If I’m learning that then I know all the other positions are learning it too. That’s why we come to OTA’s, to get reps, more reps. Sometimes it becomes muscle memory.”
What he makes of some of the veterans not being at OTA’s:
“For us, everyone is showing up except veteran guys like Anquan Boldin, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and those guys have been in the league for the longest that I’m not thinking it’s going to help those guys out as much as it’s going to help the guys behind them. Just because Anquan Boldin is not here doesn’t mean he’s not going to come in here 110 percent ready for football. With him not being here it helps other guys get better, like Tandon Doss. He’s had great OTA’s because he’s getting more reps. He wouldn’t be getting those reps if Anquan was here. Jameel McClain, he’s here. Ray Lewis isn’t here but Jameel is here.
Jameel is getting so many more reps at middle linebacker and he’s trying to catch up with Ray Lewis. Just to know what Ray Lewis already knows since he’s been in the league. When Ray comes here it will just be like I don’t understand what it will be because he knows everything. He can always WD-40 something, loosen up on technique or just some of the plays but for the most part Ray Lewis knows what to do, Ray Lewis knows how to prepare for a season.”
Whether Ray Lewis or some of these other vets can help the younger guys by being at OTA’s:
“Yes he could but that is why you have Jameel, Dannell Ellerbe and that’s why you have the coaches. Now (Courtney) Upshaw is getting all the reps and he’s getting all the attention. Anytime he has a mistake they’re watching him. Just because Ray Lewis is not there to get on to him and correcting the little things you have Dean Pees and other coaches that are correcting him on all the things he needs to be corrected on. I think we’re having great OTA’s. All the guys are out here, we’re energetic, we’re glad to be out here at practice and that’s what we’re happy about. We’re happy about the guys that are here. The ones who aren’t here, we know they’re going to come prepared. Ed Reed, he’s been in the league for years and he knows how to prepare for an NFL season.
The thing we’re doing now, they’re trying to teach us and the younger guys how to prepare for the season, how to get ready, the things you need to do and that’s what we’re doing right now. We understand that other teams might do their things their way but we’re the Baltimore Ravens, we do it our way and our way seems like it always works out. We’re going to come in, we’re going to give 110 percent every time and the guys that are here were having a great time. Even though we don’t have some of the older guys here, trust me they will be prepared when they get here and they will be on top of their game more than the guys who have been here the whole offseason. We’re not really worried about them right now. We’re just worrying about what we have right now and all the guys who are here participating.”
On when it sunk in that he was getting paid like one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL:
“It sunk in when I signed a contract and that was a dream come true, another stepping stone in my life but now it’s moving on for bigger and better things. Okay I have the contract that big corners have, now can I get some of this recognition that some of these big corners have. Maybe I want to go to the Pro Bowl. I want to be a Top 100 player. I would like to be a lot of things in my career and I would like to improve on. The money is long gone. I have put it in the bank account and now it’s time, it’s time to win a ring.”