Ravens Seeing Big Gains On Returns

Lardarius Webb notched a season-high 35-yard punt return and is more comfortable.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Categories: 2010 Season, Ryan Mink, Week 13 vs Steelers

The Ravens’ return units are starting to find some traction.

Two weeks ago, wide receiver David Reed notched an 84-yard kickoff return against Carolina. This past Sunday, cornerback Lardarius Webb ripped off a 35-yard punt return versus Pittsburgh.

Webb now has 10 punt returns for 78 yards on the season. The Ravens, who were last in the NFL in average yards per return several weeks ago, are now 27th (7.0 yards).

Head Coach John Harbaugh said the main improvement has been in the blocking. The two youngsters are also starting to grow into their roles.

“I think the returners are getting a little bit more comfortable, a little more confident, maybe a little more aggressive with the way they’re running,” Harbaugh said. “[Webb and Reed] both hit it up in there really hard, and they both got hit a couple times but held onto the ball. Hopefully, we’re seeing the development of those two guys.”

It’s Webb’s first time returning punts at the NFL level. He did return them while at Division I-AA Nicholls State.

Last season, Webb took over the Ravens’ kickoff return job and even scored a touchdown against the Denver Broncos in Week 8 before his season was ended by a knee injury.

Webb nearly broke a touchdown against the Steelers, but was taken out at the Ravens’ 49-yard line by the Steelers’ Arnaz Battle. It was the longest punt return of the season for Baltimore.

“Every time, I’m trying to get to the end zone,” Webb said. “But I didn’t know. I was just running my butt off. The dude came out of nowhere and gave me a tackle.”

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