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Ravens: Versatile Webb 'can do a little bit of everything'

OWINGS MILLS - Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb fired off the edge, closing quickly before delivering a bone-jarring shot to the back of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton just as Dalton was releasing the ball.

The impact of the hit forced an errant throw from Dalton that fluttered harmlessly to the ground just a few yards down the field.

Like he has been during each of his four seasons in Baltimore, the dynamic Webb was all over the field during the Ravens' season-opening win against the Bengals.

He helped contain Cincinnati star receiver A.J Green, provided a presence in run support - he tied for second on the team with seven tackles - and even provided pressure as a blitzer off the edge.

Even at a lanky 5-foot-10, 182 pounds, Webb, a former college safety, still plays with that aggressive safety mentality while also possessing the skills that have made him one of the NFL's top cover corners.

"The talent that Webb has is amazing," Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard said. "What he's capable of doing - he can blitz, he can cover, he can even play in the box. He can do it all."

The Ravens will need more of the same from Webb today against the Philadelphia Eagles as they try to contain a passing game that includes dual-threat quarterback Michael Vick and speedy wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Desean Jackson.

"The whole offense is explosive," Webb said. "Both wide receivers are explosive and quick and have [good] hands. We have to do a great, great job of containing these guys."

Webb didn't have a single touchdown pass thrown on him during the entire 2011 season.

He finished the year with 67 tackles, the fourth-highest total on the team, along with a sack, a forced fumble and a team-highs in both interceptions (5) and pass deflections (20).

He added three more interceptions in two playoff games.

Baltimore rewarded Webb with a six-year, $50 million contract in April.

"When you've got a guy that can do so many things, it allows a defensive coordinator to do a lot more things with him," Ravens cornerback Corey Graham said. "When you've got a guy that can blitz, a guy that can play the run, a guy that can cover, that's just a complete defensive back, and that's what you want to be. That's one of the best qualities about Webb is that he can do a little bit of everything."

Graham described that type of well-roundedness from a cornerback as "rare."

"There are only a few guys that can do all of that," Graham said.

And with capable defenders in Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith at the cornerback position as well, the Ravens are able to slide Webb inside in sub-packages, which Webb feels gives him an even greater opportunity to take full advantage of his versatility.

"That's why I enjoy playing inside," Webb said. "I get to be more flexible. I get to make more plays. I get to tackle, I get to cover and I see myself being even more a part of the defense when I'm inside at the nickel."

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