One year has passed since cornerback Lardarius Webb underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee.
And so far, the results have been mixed.
Webb ranks third on the Ravens with five passes defensed and sixth with 28 tackles. He has made a number of important plays in the passing game, but perhaps the biggest positive is the fact that he’s stayed healthy.
“I’m kind of pleased,” Webb said. “It’s all an uphill battle, but I’ve got to get better. I’ve got to get better each day. I’ve got to get better before Sunday, so I’m just ready to take the challenge.”
In last week’s loss, Webb allowed the Packers’ only touchdown of the game, a 64-yarder to Jordy Nelson in the third quarter.
Webb said the culprit for that one was his eyes. He said he’s still working on retraining his vision after missing all but six games a season ago, and on that play, his eyes were in the backfield instead of on his man.
Touchdowns on Webb have been a rare sight since he emerged as Baltimore’s top cornerback in 2011. But the latest seems to be an example of how teams are attacking Webb these days.
“I just think, yeah, they’re testing me a little bit more,” Webb said. “I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’m coming off the ACL or maybe they’re seeing me play with a little something. But they are coming, they are coming.”
Webb likes that, however. He wants to be tested and likes the increased number of interception opportunities as a result.
“Just keep coming, man. In a while, they’ll learn, they’ll learn,” Webb said. But just let them keep on game-planning me and coming at me. In a minute, (I’m) going to arrive. ...
“I’m baiting them. I’m baiting them to come. I guess they see a couple games where some guys are getting some catches, so continue to come. I’m ready to take the challenge.”
On Thursday, defensive coordinator Dean Pees evaluated Webb’s performance so far this season and sees a player still working his way back into form coming off a major injury.
“I think he’s all right,” Pees said. “He’s just getting back into - I don’t know if I want to say playing shape - playing mode, which sometimes takes a little while and stuff. When you’re playing all the time, your eyes are right, it’s not so much physical, it’s sometimes more your eyes and just that kind of thing, and I think that would be true. ...
“He’s just got to keep playing. I think the more he plays, the more he gets back into it and I think the better we’re going to be. I have the utmost confidence in him.”