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Rookie safety Matt Elam off to fast start with Ravens

FootballJohn Harbaugh

Intercepting passes and barking out defensive signals, Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam delivered as advertised during a rookie minicamp that concluded Sunday.

The first-round draft pick lined up at free safety, playing with an obvious confidence.

"It went well," Elam said. "I got better every day. I'm improving. I'm very comfortable and very smooth out there. It felt great. I'm very excited to be with the best and start working with the vets. "

A consensus All-American selection from the University of Florida, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Elam was the final pick of the first round after recording 176 tackles, 24 for losses, five sacks, six interceptions and two forced fumbles in three seasons for the Gators.

What impressed Ravens coach John Harbaugh about Elam was how he took charge in the secondary and is quickly becoming knowledgeable about the defensive scheme.

"Matt really picked things up quickly, same for [second-round inside linebacker] Arthur [Brown]," Harbaugh said.  "He really did a nice job of communicating in the back end which isn't usual for a rookie. Most rookie defensive backs all defensive players have a tough time with the communication part because they're not confident enough to make the calls.

"He's smart. He picked it up quickly.  He jumped back there quickly and made the calls with force. He was very forceful back there and played fast. He looked good."

awilson@baltsun.com

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