Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb is feeling good about a lot of things these days.
He’s feeling good about a lucrative new six-year deal that he signed last week and he’s feeling good about his own ability. Webb told Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun that he thinks he’s one of the five best cornerbacks in the NFL right now. Beyond that, Webb thinks he’s playing in the best secondary in the entire league.
“Last year was Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams‘ first year playing,” Webb said. “I think the secondary changed completely. This year, they’ll be a year older and a year better. They can do nothing but get better. These guys are growing and understanding the game. We’re getting used to playing next to each other. With me, Jimmy Smith, Cary Williams and then Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed, there are not five guys better. We have the best secondary in football.”
Opinions will vary on whether Webb’s correct, although the Ravens certainly belong in the discussion based on their play in 2011. Credit for some of the secondary’s success must be given to the front seven, since rushing the passer and stopping the run combine to make life easier for defensive backs, but it was a very good unit on its own merits.
If Smith and Williams do take the step forward that Webb presumes they will, it is going to be very tough although that growth isn’t set in stone. We’ve seen players regress after strong seasons in the past, and even Webb has just one full year as a starter under his belt. It was an excellent season, but the key to success in the NFL is repetition and the Ravens need to do that in order to be the best.