xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Expectations were understandably low for Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb, one of the team's most promising young players, at the start of the 2010 season. Webb tore his ACL last December, wasn't cleared to practice until the middle of training camp and was held out of the season opener against the Jets.

Webb's workload has increased since he made his season debut in Cincinnati, and on Sunday, he was assigned a highly-important mission in Pittsburgh: Don't let Mike Wallace beat the Ravens deep.

Advertisement

Wallace, the Steelers' second-year speedster who ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the 2009 scouting combine, led the NFL in yards per catch (19.4) as a rookie and had three catches for 100 yards and two scores a week ago against the Buccaneers.

Webb was up for the task of playing Wallace's shadow, helping the Ravens' top-ranked pass defense limit the Steelers wide receiver to two catches for 24 yards. The Steelers took a few shots downfield to Wallace in the second half. Each time, Webb ran with him stride for stride. On one play in the fourth quarter, he closed quickly to break up a pass intended for Wallace in the end zone and nearly came down with the interception (Rashard Mendenhall ended up scoring a touchdown on the drive).

Advertisement

"We knew coming into the game that he was going to be a deep threat, so we had to take that away," Webb told the team's website. "He's a fast guy, and he runs great routes. My whole week was focusing on [Wallace], making sure [he] didn't beat me deep. He didn't have a game on me."

Webb's eye-opening performance earned him a shout-out in Peter King's "Monday Morning Quarterback" column — King called him "feisty" and "competitive" — which is much more impressive than getting name-dropped in Matt Vensel's "Seven Points" column. After watching Webb blanket Wallace on Sunday, I think it's safe to ratchet up our expectations for the young cornerback in 2010.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement