Following the 2011 season, Lardarius Webb earned a big extension from the team for six years and worth $50 million. It showed the progress made as a cornerback, who went from a rotation player during that preseason to a starter.
Since, Webb has had some issues to overcome. He tore his ACL in 2012 and spent most of 2013 working through the pain that remained during the year. During training camp this season, he injured his back and didn't have the kind of mobility through most of the season.
However, against the Texans, Webb looked like the cornerback the Ravens signed to a big extension back in 2011. He had to match up with both Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins and did an excellent job in keeping them from getting open deep down the field in a 25-13 loss. He was much more fluid in coverage and didn't appear to be limited by either of the aforementioned injuries.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees noticed this as well.
"I texted him Monday morning when I got in, and I actually graded the film on the plane on the way back, and then I came in and watched the film again on Monday morning and I texted him right after I got done and said, ‘That's the best you've played all year," Pees told reporters this week. "You look like you're kind of getting back to the Lardarius that I know.' I think that is a very, very positive thing about him, yes."
There's one game remaining on the regular-season slate and that team has one of the better receivers in the NFL — even if his late arrival to the season and a lack of a solid quarterback on the roster has diminished his numbers. Josh Gordon will be someone the Ravens need to key on this week and Webb will play a huge role in doing so.
"Hey, we need him right here at the end," Pees said. "We need everybody here right at the end. But I was very pleased with the way he played. I thought he played, really, his best game, probably, of the year."