Lardarius Webb had the best seat in the house as the Ravens won the Super Bowl in February. He hoisted the Lombardi Trophy and has a giant diamond ring that serves as a blinged-out reminder that he was a champion.
But he was lost for the season with a knee injury in Week 6 and was forced to watch from the sideline as his comrades defended their end zone in that desperate goal-line stand in the final moments of the Super Bowl.
Webb said Thursday that he is driven by watching his Ravens teammates win the Super Bowl without him.
"Very motivating," he said. "It was a good feeling on the sideline, so I can imagine how good it felt to actually be out on the field and just be playing -- make some tackles and make some plays. I feel like a champion, but I'm motivated to get back."
Not that Lardarius Webb needs the extra motivation as he continues his second comeback from a torn ACL in four years, but I wouldn't blame him or some of his other teammates who were too injured to play in the Super Bowl feel that accomplishment on their individual resumes should come with an asterisk because they experience was imcomplete.
They certainly earned their rings with their contributions before their injuries and whatever wisdom or motivation they were able to provide after them. As guard Jah Reid put it before the Super Bowl, it was a bummer to not be playing in the game, but all the guys on injured reserve and practice squad played a role -- some larger than others -- along the way there.
Still, when dreaming as kids about that day, I'm sure they weren't picturing themselves in street clothes, waving towels and high-fiving teammates after they made plays that they themselves could have been the ones making. That's not to say they aren't genuinely happy about winning it all, but it's human nature should they feel they have unfinished business.
As Webb said, the feeling will be even better if they win another championship and are out on the field playing an active role.
I know this is a random topic for a blog post a couple of days into training camp, but Webb's candid comment Thursday got me thinking about all this. The Super Bowl win could have understandably been a bittersweet experience and I can see why Webb would carry this particular chip on his shoulder. I know I would, you know, if I was a talented NFL cornerback, too.