The Ravens will start training camp in late July two cornerbacks down. They don't know yet when Fabian Washington or Lardarius Webb will come back from knee surgeries. And that's why they had a host of new defensive backs at the team's first minicamp of the offseason.
One corner who looked promising at camp played with the Ravens the last three months of the 2009 season. Cary Williams, who spent most of two seasons with the Titans, was signed last November after Washington tore his ACL.
Williams played in five games, mostly on special teams, but made one start on defense (against the Bears in Week 15). He has good size (6-1, 185) and speed and might be able to project himself into the rotation if he does well in training camp.
"Cory has got a great body," said defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. "He's a prototype corner. He's got a lot of length. He's got good speed. He's another guy that is really kind of buying into the Raven way, and coach [Chuck] Pagano is doing a great job with him, and a lot of emphasis is on him to see how good we can get him in a short period of time."
Williams, 25, was a seventh-round pick by Tennessee in 2008. Before that, he tore up Division II at Washburn after spending two years at Fordham. Williams had 11 interceptions in 23 games at Washburn, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and had a 68-yard reception on offense.
Among the defensive backs signed or given tryouts for last week's camp were veteran Travis Fisher and four rookies -- Prince Miller (Georgia), Courtney Smith (Central Washington), Ashton Hall (Marshall) and Brad Jones (Cincinnati). Returning with Williams as players who rarely got on the field were K.J. Gerard and Marcus Paschal.
"After that, it was just guys kind of rolling through," coach John Harbaugh said. "I give Chuck [Pagano] a lot of credit because he was plugging guys in and they were trying to figure out how to play. Cary Williams had a nice camp. He's learning the defense and he's got some physical ability. And then we're looking at some of these younger guys to see who might have a chance to compete in camp and who we might add to the 80-man roster."
The Ravens were thought to be considering a cornerback with a high pick last month,but did not draft one in three days.