Ravens CB Rashaan Melvin grieves father's death as he rehabs shoulder injury

Rashaan Melvin has overcome a lot this year, including the death of his father following prostate cancer.

As difficult an experience as the Ravens' playoff game loss to the New England Patriots was for cornerback Rashaan Melvin, it's also been a trying offseason for him.

Melvin's father, James Melvin, died in February following a long battle with prostate cancer.

"I'm doing pretty good, my family is strong," said Melvin, who has also spent the past few months rehabilitating from offseason shoulder surgery. "We're positive. We believe in God. We just take it as it comes. We're strong-faith people."

A former walk-on who earned a scholarship at Northern Illinois and went undrafted before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Melvin became a starter for the Ravens last season following a series of injuries at the cornerback position.

Prior to the Ravens' playoff game in January, James Melvin told The Baltimore Sun that he was extremely proud of his son's progress.

"Rashaan has earned everything he's gotten," James Melvin said. "Now the Ravens have given him an opportunity, and he's proving himself again. He's a wonderful young man. He's been very disciplined. He's come a long way. We're very proud of him."

Now, Rashaan Melvin is hoping to build on last season. He was frequently targeted by New England quarterback Tom Brady in the AFC divisional round and allowed 15 receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns. That included a 51-yard touchdown to Danny Amendola on a trick play and the 23-yard game-winning touchdown to Brandon LaFell.

In three games and two starts in the regular season after being signed off of the Miami Dolphins' practice squad in November, Melvin had 17 tackles with one pass defended and a forced fumble. He started both of the Ravens' playoff games and had 18 tackles.

The 6-foot-3, 193-pound second-year pro is slated to compete for playing time in nickel and dime packages along with Asa Jackson after the arrival of former Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington on a three-year, $7 million contract.

Melvin said his belief in himself has grown from last season heading into the Ravens' first set of organized team activities, which begin Tuesday at their training complex.

"Definitely, I go into the season with a lot of confidence knowing I can play in this league and play for a very long time," Melvin said. "I'm taking this confidence and everything in stride."

Melvin displayed an aggressive style of play last season that served him well in press coverage.

Against the Jacksonville Jaguars, during one of Melvin's first plays for the Ravens, he blitzed and recorded a tackle for a loss. He also nearly intercepted a pass.

"No doubt, my style, my confidence makes me want to be up in guys' faces," Melvin said. "I'm not afraid to get beat. That's part of the game. You win some and lose some.

"You got to be sure you win more than you lose. At the end of the day, you play with confidence and technique and the best of your ability."

Melvin signed a $585,000 exclusive-rights tender this offseason. His shoulder has healed and he's looking forward to offseason practices.

"It's coming along pretty good right now," Melvin said. "We're back getting our feet wet and getting ready for the season."

awilson@baltsun.com

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