OWINGS MILLS - Josh Bynes appears to be well on his way to locking up the Ravens' starting Will linebacker job.
Bynes has earned positive reviews while working largely with the first-team defense during training camp, and Baltimore coach John Harbaugh offered even higher praise for Bynes Saturday based on how Bynes fared with the first-team defense during the Ravens' preseason opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Bynes had four tackles, including one for a loss, in limited action.
"I would say Josh has only gotten better," Harbaugh said. "He equated himself very well in there, as you saw. He played like a starting inside linebacker. So, he's the leader right now for that spot. He's going to be challenged by a couple other guys strongly, but he played very well."
Bynes signed with Baltimore as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He spent most of 2011 on the Ravens' practice squad, and he began last year on Baltimore's practice squad, but he was promoted to the active roster midway through last season and later stepped in as a starter at inside linebacker because of injuries at the position.
He made three starts late in the regular season.
He had 13 tackles against the Denver Broncos in his first career start and had nine in the Ravens' regular season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bynes was a three-year starter at inside linebacker for Auburn in college. He led Auburn in tackles as a junior and was the defensive leader of Auburn's National Championship-winning team in 2010.
Second-round pick Arthur Brown and Albert McClellan are the other two players vying with Bynes for the starting Will linebacker job.