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In secondary shake-up, Fuller shifts primary focus to safety

After an initial hesitation at the idea of a switch to safety, Corey Fuller embraced the move after his first practice yesterday.

Coaches made the change a permanent one for Fuller, who will likely take limited snaps, if any, at cornerback and will focus mostly on being a safety during training camp.

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Though Fuller, 33, will likely be the top backup at both safety positions, he may have the chance to beat out Will Demps and become a starter.

For now, the Ravens just want Fuller to become re-acclimated to the position where he started 14 games for the Cleveland Browns in 1999. That was Fuller's last extensive action at the position.

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"I really enjoyed it," Fuller said of his practice yesterday. "What changed? I started nine years at cornerback, over 120-something games. I gave my all, and I'm not as fast as I used to be. But I feel like I can go out and dominate at safety easily. Now it's up to me to learn the scheme in more detail."

Fuller's move paves the way for the newly signed Dale Carter to be the nickel (fifth) defensive back. Carter practiced with the starters the past two weeks in place of an injured Gary Baxter.

Though Carter, 34, may have also lost a step, coaches feel his experience and physical play will help solidify the secondary. In three-receiver formations, Carter will remain on the outside along with Chris McAlister, while Baxter will shift inside to cover the slot receiver.

Fuller will return to cornerback only in case of an injury.

"Corey's versatility is big for us," defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said.


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