Since the Ravens signed Michael Huff to a three-year, $6 million contract in March, the veteran free safety has become a fixture at offseason workouts and organized team activities.

The former Oakland Raiders starter been quickly absorbing the defensive playbook as the replacement for Ed Reed, the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year who signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Houston Texans in March.

So far, Huff is making a smooth transition to his new surroundings.

"It feels good, especially having the vets teaching me the ropes and going through the playbook all the time," Huff said. "They're making it an easy adjustment. The energy in practice, the competitiveness of the defense against the offense, I hadn't seen it before. You can see why they win all the time here. It's competitive here day in and day out and wanting to get better."

Cut by the Raiders prior to free agency when they were unwilling to pay him a total of $8 million this season, Huff is a once-heralded first-round draft pick who hasn't emerged as a dominant player in the NFL like Reed.

Huff, 30, is regarded highly for his range, tackling and positional flexibility, lining up everywhere from free safety, strong safety and cornerback.

Huff was selected seventh overall by the Raiders out of Texas during the 2006 NFL draft. He has recorded 453 career tackles, 11 interceptions, 5 1/2 sacks, 57 pass deflections and four forced fumbles.

"Oh man, you talk about a guy who's a safety," Ravens strong safety James Ihedigbo said. "He can play nickel, he's played corner. He's fast. He has great range around the field. I'm glad to have him on our team. He's a phenomenal player. I can't speak more highly of him."

awilson@baltsun.com
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