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Lardarius Webb could see more time at safety, John Harbaugh says

Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb celebrates an interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium.
Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb celebrates an interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium. (Larry French / Getty Images)

Lardarius Webb, whose versatility has made him a mainstay when healthy over the past several years as a cornerback and nickel defensive back, might have found a new home at safety.

"It was something we talked about over the bye week," Harbaugh said. "It was kind of just an idea that we had, you watch Webby and you watch how he plays and we felt like he could be a factor on the back end, as far as chasing balls and being a ball-hawk. He may be kind of a natural that way."

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Webb played a handful of snaps as the deep safety in a new-look, third-down defensive back package that saw him replace either Will Hill or Kendrick Lewis, and brought cornerback Asa Jackson onto the field as the slot defensive back. Those packages also include inside linebackers Arthur Brown and Zachary Orr at times, but were built around having Webb play deep.

A league spokesman said the Jacksonville Jaguars should have been called for a false start penalty on their final offensive snap, which would have ended the game and given the Ravens a win.

"We tried him there on Tuesday and Wednesday of the bye week, he looked good, so we built a couple packages for him. … We're able to play him at three different spots at least throughout the course of the game. They had a tougher time knowing where he was going to be. I really think that's something we can build on going forward."

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When Webb wasn't at safety, he was playing cornerback or in the slot. The coaching staff's preference to have him in the slot has meant they've cycled through several options, including Rashaan Melvin (cut), Will Davis (injured), and Shareece Wright on the outside to accomodate Webb inside, while free-agent signing Kyle Arrington's role grows smaller every week.

Webb had his first interception of the season on Sunday, jumping a sideline route and setting up the Ravens for a short field and a scoring drive. It's those instincts that the Ravens are trying to utilize more outside of the coverage responsibility of a cornerback in his new role as a safety.

"As far as his versatility is concerned, he's a guy that can play inside, he can play corner, you can move him back and play some safety," defensive backs coach Chris Hewitt said during the bye. "There are a lot of things that Lardarius can do, and we'll continue to find out ways to use him and utilize his skill set."

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