Lardarius Webb thinks Ravens have league’s best secondary

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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.

63 responses to “Lardarius Webb thinks Ravens have league’s best secondary

  1. Last time I checked Ed Reed was 33 and Joe uncool Flacco is still your primary QB. LaDarius “Cob” Webb

  2. The Ravens always pound their chests but rarely provide the muscle to back the mouth.

    Horrible franchise horrible team culture.

  3. I don’t see how you can call them a ‘horrible team’ with “horrible culture.”.

    If horrible culture is putting a competitive product on the field; year in and year out, drafting very well and making the playoffs for 4 straight years with two AFC championship appearances….then yeah.. They’re really horrible.

  4. i mean, didn’t they allow the fewest passing tds in the league? that seems like it would equal one of the better secondaries.

    awful lot of haters…

  5. ajc33635 says:
    Apr 11, 2012 9:52 AM
    The Ravens always pound their chests but rarely provide the muscle to back the mouth.

    Horrible franchise horrible team culture.
    Yea…every year under Flacco making it to the playoffs, 2012 D-MVP in Suggs, top 3 RB in Rice and I could go on forever about the young talent on D and O….such a horrible team and we never back it up clearly, especially not by sweeping our division last year and one Evans drop away from the SB. One of the top drafting teams in the NFL, a franchise that constantly has other teams coming after our coaches and front office to steal personel away, and a team that has become a perenial power house considering they’ve only existed for 16 years. I’d love to know who your franchise is and how they stack up to the Ravens.

    And where did you get a terible team culture from?? Have you ever heard anybody say the Ravens lockerroom is anything like the Jets or Dolphins? If you can’t back it up, leave the smack talk at home bud.

  6. Much as I hate to admit it – the Giants secondary really showed up in the playoffs.
    They should be right up there with the best of them

  7. So the Ravens have the best QB, the best secondary, the best GM and two legendary defensive captains? So why havent they won a Superbowl in the last 12 years? Ill tell you why…


  8. I’m pretty positive Kansas City has the best secondary in the league. Routt and Flowers at corner, Arenas the nickel, with Kendrick Lewis and Eric Berry at safety? There are no five guys better. Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams, are alright…but they’re not upper echelon by any means. Jimmy Smith got burned repeatedly last year.

  9. Self-proclaimed best QB in the league and now the self-proclaimed best secondary?

    The Ravens never seem to pass up the opportunity to say something crazy when someone puts a microphone in their face.

  10. The author/blogger here has said that the secondary’s life might be made easier by the Ravens’ front 7, and that might be true…

    But a lockdown secondary also makes life easier for the front 7.

    They go hand-in-hand.

    If a QB can’t find anyone open, they hold the ball longer…it’s called a coverage sack. We all know this.

    If a team is taking away the pass, the other team will try and run the ball. This makes life easier for the front seven to just play against the run tendency.

    So, perhaps the Ravens’ secondary is actually making life easier for the front 7.

    We’ll never know.

    All I know is that group is damn good, and that’s a hell of an organization.

  11. Rushing the passer takes some pressure off, sure…
    But did you watch a ravens game last season? If Suggs wasn’t getting to the QB, nobody was. He got a career high in sacks… But overall the ravens didn’t really have a fearsome pass rush.

    The secondary has a lot of potential, and might even be the best.

    The great thing is… They’ll have plenty of chances to prove it. Their out of division opponents this year is pretty challenging. They play both Tom Brady and Peyton manning. And then the entire NFC east. Texans who should have their QB and Andre back, and they play the chargers late in the season when they are actually trying.

    Let’s get that schedule release already! 🙂

  12. Huge Patriots Fan here. That secondary did a really good job in the AFC Championship game last year (NOT JOKING) against Tom. Wish my squad had that talent in the Defensive Backfield this past season and especially in the SB. #justtryingtokeepitreal

  13. If the Ravens don’t have the best secondary in the league, then I’d really like to hear who is.

    If you say the Eagles, I will laugh in your face.

    KC has a good secondary, but Berry is coming off a torn ACL. I think he has the tools and skills to be the best safety in the game, but he has to show on the field again.

    Houston’s entire defense is worlds better than it was a couple years ago, especially after adding Daniel Manning and Jonathan Joseph last year. If any team’s secondary is better than the Ravens, it’s Houston.

  14. Lardarius Webb reminds me alot of Ike Taylor, except Webb is really good and Ike Taylor is extremely overrated

  15. 11jlacy says: Apr 11, 2012 10:36 AM

    Webb I agree with u my man ravens secondary got it off top

    What language is this?

  16. I’d say the Ravens may not even have the best secondary on a team named after birds.

    Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Brandon Browner, and Richard Sherman….that’s three pro-Bowlers and one all-rookie CB (10 starts, 21 pass breakups). Marcus Trufant is a nickel back on the current Seattle roster, and may even be a dime back if Walter Thurmond is able to return from a broken ankle. The team was fourth in the NFL in interceptions last year, and all of the starters are young.

    The difference to me is, Baltimore gets the pass-rush from their front seven to make their secondary more effective. Seattle has Chris Clemons with 11 sacks and that’s about it.

    I’ll be nice and won’t post the video of Marshawn busting Ray-Ray’s ankles and pushing right past Reed for a game-sealing first down. :-p

  17. Fearsome pass rusher suggs was a fearsome pass rusher come on 3 games with 3 sacks amd 3 fumbles nobody else did that and pernell mcphee with 7 sacks and paul kruger with 5.5 sacks they just getting started along with reddimg of course who left along with ngtata with 52 pass rushers everywhere our secondary will be the best in the league they just getting started $$$

  18. O yeah if teams stop cheating with “spygate” maybe we can win cowards ravens still the realest and toughest team in the nfl

  19. I mean I’m glad Webb is saying this as he is the best player in that secondary (queue ZOMG WHAT ABOUT ED REED?!?!?! – he’s good but he’s not what he once was and has SERIOUS injury issues), but they are not the best secondary in the league – no way.

  20. As a Steeler fan, I have high respect (and hate) for the Ravens. Every year, they and the Steelers are generally at the top of NFL defenses.

    Webb is on the right track, they do have one of the better secondaries. However, I would be more cautious in expounding that greatness.

    Ed Reed is an incredible free safety, but his days are numbered. Ray Lewis is very smart, but his athleticism has dropped precipitously over the last few years. Ngata and Suggs are awesome.

    There will be quite a drop-off when Reed and Lewis depart. It is coming soon.

    They have a great front office, good coaching and sound players, but their defense will be anchored by Ngata and Suggs. Without those two, you can have Lester Hayes and Mel Blount back there, won’t matter.

  21. the Ravens are the only team to make it to the Playoffs the last 4 years!!!!!! they are allways in the top 5 in D, also leave Joe alone he will never have huge # as long as our D is a top 5 year in and year out… that not enough

    ajc33635 says:
    Apr 11, 2012 9:52 AM
    The Ravens always pound their chests but rarely provide the muscle to back the mouth.

    Horrible franchise horrible team culture

  22. KC’s secondary is not better. The guy Routt is replacing was better, and the main guy Berry is coming back from that bad injury. That does not equal better than all other defensive secondaries. Besides, Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams with a full off-season with Carr, Reed and Pollard will make them even better. What we’d really like to see, though, is someone for punts and kick returns so Webb isn’t out there exposing himself to special teams.

  23. That’s a pretty big claim by Webb. I will say that they have a chance to be pretty good this season, but there are a lot of “ifs” involved.

    If Smith and Williams improve. If Ed Reed stays healthy. If teams don’t force Pollard into coverage.

    Ravens fans should be a little bit concerned. Last year the Eagles and Jets spent a lot of time in the offseason making claims about how great they were. Neither team lived up to their self-hype.

  24. Seahawks secondary is younger and better. And last season seems to prove that. I mean, how many yards did the Ravens secondary give up to Tarvaris Jackson? It was one of his better games. That’s sure not a good endorsement

  25. I would have to say the Seahawks have the best secondary in the NFL. 3 Pro Bowlers last year. Brandon Browner,-Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor.

  26. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all week. Getting torched by Hasslebeck doesn’t make you the best. But I guess playing McCoy, dalton and beat up Ben twice each per season will certainly pad your stats…

  27. @steeelfann

    Not that I expected you to watch a Ravens game last season unless it was against the Steelers (Lord knows I won’t be caught dead watching a Pitt game outside of the rivalry!) but in Rays absence, McClain was out there making all of the defensive calls and truth be told, did a helluva job. We won every game with Ray out (3 games I believe) and I have full confidence that McClain can fill that role. No, he will never be Ray Lewis, nor will any player ever fill those shoes, but I think the LB’s will be just fine. Now safety is a different issue… All I can say is Zibby or Haruki couldn’t ballhawk like Reed. I’m looking to the draft for this position.

  28. Well it seems there’s no reason to play football next year. The Ravens have the best quarterback in the league and now it’s been revealed that they have the best secondary? It’s over. Move on to 2013….

  29. “nepats12 says:
    Apr 11, 2012 11:36 AM
    That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all week. Getting torched by Hasslebeck doesn’t make you the best. But I guess playing McCoy, dalton and beat up Ben twice each per season will certainly pad your stats…”

    The real stat-padding came against Brady in the AFC championship game.

  30. The argument will end here: Those doubting Ladarius’ abilites need to read these stats from Pro football focus: As my colleague Jeff Zrebiec mentioned last week when he broke the news of Webb’s extension, Webb did not allow a touchdown pass all season and quarterbacks had a rating of just 55.6 when throwing in Webb’s direction, according to Pro Football Focus, an NFL statistics and analysis website. It was a breakout season for the 26-year-old cornerback (however, he wasn’t selected to the Pro Bowl).

    Pro Football Focus graded Webb as the league’s fourth-best cornerback in 2011 (including postseason) and the second-best cornerback in coverage — trailing only Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets.

    “When you delve a little deeper into his season, it becomes clear just how good he was. He played in 18 games for the Ravens, seeing a total of 638 snaps in coverage, and didn’t allow a single touchdown reception in that time,” Gordon McGuiness wrote in a Pro Football Focus article about Webb last month. “Of the 102 times he was targeted by opposing [quarterbacks], Webb got his hands on 20, with eight interceptions and 12 passes broken up throughout the regular season and two playoff games.”

  31. Your team has the best quarterback too, according to Cool Joe Flaco.

    So I wonder what excuse the Ravens will use this year when they tank again in the playoffs?

    …taking a page out of the Jets playbook I see.


  32. The Ravens have so many “best”s on their roster according to their fans/players. They have the best LBs, best secondary, best QB, best RB, best NT, best FB, best front office, etc. Yet they cant make it to the Super Bowl, let alone win it…how does that work?

  33. The problem here isnt that Webb is totally off base. They have a good D and they have an above average secondary, but im sorry, the weakest part about that D (which like i said is a good D) is the secondary itself. Ed Reed continually struggles to stay healthy and that wont get any better. You can hate all you want on me saying that and I am sure Ravens fans will line up to defend Reed to death, which is comendable. He is clearly one of the best, if not the best safety of all time. However, lets be realistic, his best days are behind him, its just the way it is, its not a dig, a human being simply cant put himself through the punishment of the NFL year after year without eventually slowing down.

    As has been said multiple times, Webb has had one good year, let me see him play like he did last year for more than just last year and then ill listen to him bark about being one of the best. One season, no matter how good, doesnt make u one of the best, consistent great play year after year does.

    Jimmy Smith? Tons of talent, tons to learn. He got burned on a regular basis last year and at times embarrassingly so. As Alper said, lets give him another year, plenty of players regress in their sophmore years and I didnt see stellar play out of Smith to begin with, just flashes here and there.

    Im not going to even waste my time on Pollard, he is a run of the mill safety at best. He is known mostly for, if not only for, his cheap shots and how his peers claim he is dirty.

    In summary, less talk, more years of production out of your young corners and lets see who u draft/sign to succeed Reed (i dont mean he has to be as good as Reed, but someone who isnt a huge drop off in talent from him) because lets not forget, its not just about the starters its about the depth and if you dont have a guy that can step in for Reed (when he inevitably gets hurt), your top 5 status starts slipping real quick.

  34. Huge Patriots Fan here. That secondary did a really good job in the AFC Championship game last year (NOT JOKING) against Tom. Wish my squad had that talent in the Defensive Backfield this past season and especially in the SB. #justtryingtokeepitreal


    Pretty sure you wish you had any secondary over what the Pat’s had considering theirs was without question the worst in the league. Also, lets not forget that the best TE in football was hurt almost that entire game, leaving only Hernandez and Welker to cover…Gronk out makes the Pats offense rather ordinary.

  35. One of the better secondaries, but not the best.

    Their top rival’s secondary was the top in the league last year, despite the fact that the front 7 were plagued by injuries.

    Ngata and Suggs helped Webb and Smith out a lot, but like I said; the Ravens still have a really good secondary.

  36. Funny how worked up people get. Ravens have a solid secondary. The best? Who knows.

    I hate the best of any position discussions. There is always debate and the always will be when anyone is said to be the best (or in Webb’s case, making a self proclamation of such greatness).

    I agree with comments on Seattle. If they ever get their stuff together (primarily at QB) they will be tough. Toward the end of last season they did play very tough.

  37. Being “the best” is completely subjective, period. But the FACTs definitely lean toward’s Lardarius’ opinion being not far off. The Ravens defense finished 4th best in the league in passing yards allowed and allowed the fewest passing TDs of all 32 teams with 11. When only tallying throws that went towards Webb, opposing QBs had a 55 QB rating. The Ravens need a FS of the future, but Ed Reed still forces QBs to recognize his presence. Pollard was much better in coverage last year tha in his previous stints in Houston and KC, being in a system that allows him to play to his strengths definitely caused him to have a better year. Last year was Cary Williams first season with a big role on the team and he more often than not held his own. Jimmy Smith struggled early but had really gotten in the groove by the time the playoffs rolled around. With an actual offseason he and Danny Gorrer will improve. Recently signed Corey Graham was no slouch for the Bears either. Getting the 2nd most sacks in the league helped this unit out last year, no doubt, but the only games they struggled in were week 2 vs Titans where the team was throwing Foxworth and Chris Carr out there to vainly attempt covering Britt and week 15 vs Chargers, which was coincidentally the only game Webb was limited in due to injury.

  38. troll hammer, I couldnt agree more. Not to take away from the ravens, but Seattle can easily be thrown in this discussion. E.T and Kam make a killer safety duo, not to mention Sherman and browner came in as backups , only to become pro bowlers. Walter Thurmond will be back from injury, and trufant was just re signed.

    Scary part is, they’re just getting started. Add A new lb, and pass rush, that defense is gonna be scary.

  39. @schlonkie2

    I’ll counter your point here: Can you please name one CB who had 1 stellar season then totally fell off the following year? I surely can’t. And in regards to Jimmy Smith, not sure how many Ravens games you watched, but for a kid with no OTA’s and starting the season with an injury, I’d say he did a bang up job. I can name 2 instances in which he gambled and lost. Never saw him get owned by a WR, never saw a missed tackle, and he had a few picks to boot. Like his upside and see him as a McCallister type guy (mentality and ability).

    As for our D slipping, I’ll take a stab at this one: When Ray sat 3 gms this year with injury, did we slip up? Our D actually improved and we won 3 straight. I’m well aware Ray and Ed are past their prime, but the rest of this team has the skill and mental toughness to fill that void. Nobody will ever ballhawk like Reed, but I do anticipate a rd 2 safety by the Ravens who will be his successor, but next man up is the motto, and this D won’t slip out of the top 5.

    ps-Pollard didn’t have 1 questionable “dirty” play last year. His pass coverage vastly improved and he’s an above average SS.

  40. They have to be one of the best – so saying the opposite is just foolish. If they weren’t in the Steeler’s division they may be considered a “great” team (not just a competitive one) but maybe that rivalry is also what makes them better than most, year after year!
    They have heart, spirit & strong teamwork mostly from playing beside Ray Lewis. You can make some little joke about Ray’s past, but if anyone has turned their life around, it is him. He is a respected spiritual leader throughout the league – not just his team – so stop with the culture comments too.
    However, even though confidence is a good thing, he and Flacco could still be a little more subtle.

  41. @ajc33635 says: Apr 11, 2012 9:52 AM
    “The Ravens always pound their chests but rarely provide the muscle to back the mouth.
    Horrible franchise horrible team culture.”

    This may be the single most ignorant and repulsive post I’ve read on here in years..

  42. Well said, trollhammer20.

    Hate to interrupt this support group for Persons Prone to Mass Hysteria, Group-Think and Delusions of Grandeur.. but it seems to me that one of the League’s youngest, largest, most physical, most dominant and most talented secondaries has stunningly been left out of this discussion..

    The Seattle Seahawks’ secondary:

    CB Brandon Browner
    FS Earl Thomas
    SS Kam Chancellor
    CB Richard Sherman

    How did the Ravens perform against Seattle last Season? Seattle beat them. Ask Mr. Bolden who Kam Chancellor is – if he can remember. 16 yards for Ray Rice – yep, we’re tough as nails against the run, too.. It was Seattle’s secondary who sealed the victory in the Meadowlands against the NFL Champion NY Giants, too, when Browner picked Eli Manning for six during Eli’s late 4th quarter drive to try and win the game.

    Don’t sleep on the Seattle Seahawks.

  43. ajc33635 says:

    The Ravens always pound their chests but rarely provide the muscle to back the mouth.

    Horrible franchise horrible team culture.

    I’m a diehard Steelers fan, but just don’t get this comment at all. Saying the Ravens rarely provide muscle doesn’t even compute. That’s one of the toughest teams in the NFL. Muscle is what they do best!

    Horrible franchise? They won a Super Bowl almost five minutes into their existence and have been regular contenders. Horrible team culture? I think the Ravens have a real family feel to their team, a lot like my Steelers. Team members–especially on that defense–seem to be extremely supportive of one another and very focused on their mission. When you think of the Ravens, you think of smashmouth football and hard-hitting defense. That’s a great culture for a football team.

    I hate the Ravens as our rivals, but respect them tremendously. Just don’t understand your thinking in that comment.

  44. Steeley McBeam says:
    Apr 11, 2012 4:15 PM
    I think Phillip Rivers and the Chargers may disagree with you, Lardarius.


    Did you forget that was the only game all year Ladarius didn’t start?

  45. LOL, Rice would have had more yards against your Seahawks if he would have got the ball more than 5 times in that game.

    Oh and David Reed fumbling twice on kick offs had more to do with that win than your defense.

  46. A Superbowl win doesn’t determine the best team. Heck, the Giants won it last year by barely squeaking into the playoffs with a 9-7 record and after losing to the Redskins twice. I always say “It’s not whose got, it’s whose hot” – clearly momentum can aid in determining the Superbowl winner. Win a few close together, like the Steelers and Patriots, then perhaps you have an argument.

    Ravens secondary the best in the league – I’m not sure about that but they are definitely in the conversation – and probably only heading upwards. Only time will tell. But one thing I know for sure – I love that division.

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