Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said Friday that the outside concerns about the Ravens’ cornerback depth aren’t unfounded. The team feels the same way.
“I don’t think there’s been more made of it,” Pees said. “I think there is [real concern]. There’s some depth, there’s competition, but we’ve got to come out of this preseason [and] somebody has got to rise up.”
Pees said he has no doubts about fourth-year cornerback Jimmy Smith, but that’s the only given as the team enters the second week of camp.
Veteran Lardarius Webb has been out for a week with back spasms, though he said Friday that he’s “feeling better” and hopes to be back within a week.
Two veterans signed to add cornerback depth — Aaron Ross and Dominique Franks — saw their participation limited by the team’s conditioning test. Ross tore an Achilles tendon taking his test, and Franks wasn’t able to pass the test and join practice until Sunday.
Asa Jackson has been the standout at the position of the team’s existing depth entering the season, with his performance placing him ahead of Chykie Brown on the depth chart.
“Asa had a heck of a day today,” Pees said. “I’ll tell you what, he’s having a real good camp.”
Pees highlighted an interception Jackson made off quarterback Joe Flacco during a two-minute drill Friday, saying it was good for both him and the defense.
Safety Omar Brown said he’s had increased reps as a slot cornerback as well, and Pees said he might use the preseason to try other combinations and roles to see where his pieces fit.
“It’s an opportunity to evaluate them,” Pees said. “We may do some things that I may not normally do in a game just to put those guys out there to see what they can do, because this is the time to experiment and see if they can do it, not when the season starts.”
Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson contributed to this article.