Though overshadowed by Baltimore Ravens legends Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, Lardarius Webb was just gaining a reputation as one of the NFL's finest all-around cornerbacks before tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament early last October.
Webb came back strong after tearing the ACL in his right knee during his rookie season, and all signs are positive following his most recent knee injury. Coach John Harbaugh now expects Webb to be ready for training camp in late July, according to the team's official website.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees can't wait to get his No. 1 cornerback into camp.
"He makes plays. He's a good tackler. It looks like he's a buck-fifty out there, but the guy throws his body around. He thinks he's a linebacker," Pees said, via Comcast SportsNet Baltimore. "The other part of it is just the way he plays, with the tenacity that he plays with. It just brings an extra spark to that whole secondary."
The Ravens' offseason narrative gradually has shifted from handwringing over the mass exodus of Super Bowl starters to praise for general manager Ozzie Newsome's creative ability to rebuild the defense on the fly. Lost in that discussion has been the return of Webb, who was voted second-team All-NFL by Pro Football Focus in 2011.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.