Ravens notebook

Welker has a big fan on opposite side of the ball

By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / January 20, 2012
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OWINGS MILLS, Md. - His name might not be one of the better known on the Ravens’ defense, but Lardarius Webb - he of the two pickoffs in Baltimore’s 20-13 win over the Texans last Sunday - is doing his best to change that.

Still, he didn’t spend yesterday talking about himself. He was, instead, all about Wes Welker.

Webb met Welker this past offseason, when they worked out in Florida. And to hear Webb tell it, the Patriots wide receiver made quite an impression on the Ravens cornerback.

“He’s just a smart wideout,’’ Webb said. “He’s got crisp routes and everything . . . He’s just always working.

“Once you’ve got a guy like that, a high-energy guy like that who’s a baller - he’s a straight-up baller - you can’t take nothing from Wes. He’s always going 110. When you’ve got a baller going at 110 all the time, it’s going to be hard to stop him.’’

Webb clearly was impressed by Welker, who he called a “cool guy, great guy.’’ He said that any discussion of the Patriots’ prowess on offense needs to begin with the wideout.

And he wasn’t the only one.

Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said, “He’s a safety net for [Tom] Brady, it’s his reliable guy. He gets open. He’s quick as a cat. He’s got feet like a shore bird.’’

Welker missed the last time the teams tangled in the playoffs. Welker had hurt his knee and was not on the field two years ago when Baltimore came to Gillette and crushed the Patriots, 33-14.

One thing is clear: The Ravens - and especially Webb - won’t be looking past Welker, who had a career-high 1,569 yards on 122 catches this season and six receptions for 55 yards against the Broncos last Saturday.

“Hey, you can’t take greatness from the great ones,’’ Webb said. “He’s good, man. Not even good. He’s great. He is. He’s got the numbers to prove it. He’s got the touchdowns to prove it. He’s got the routes to prove it.’’

Pollard: ‘It’s football’

It was three seasons ago that Ravens safety Bernard Pollard ended Brady’s season with a hit from the ground that tore the quarterback’s anterior cruciate ligament.

It led to a rule change, with the NFL making it illegal for a defender on the ground to lunge at a quarterback’s knee or below.

“It’s football,’’ said Pollard, who was then with the Chiefs. “At the end of the day, guys get hurt every Sunday. I think the fact of the matter is it was just Tom Brady in this case. Nothing’s intentional. Nothing’s malicious. Nobody’s a dirty player.

“We’re going to play ball. We’re going to play fast, we’re going to play hard for 60 minutes and, like I tell other people, when that happened, we had other guys go down that day. Nobody said anything.’’

Pollard, who called Brady a “pretty boy’’ to reporters Wednesday, said that he has not talked to the quarterback since the incident, but has spoken to him indirectly.

“If you’re asking me if I apologized, no, and I’m not going to apologize,’’ Pollard said.


Safety Ed Reed addressed the comments he made earlier in the week about quarterback Joe Flacco, saying, “All that other stuff is to the side.’’

The day after the Ravens advanced by beating the Texans, Reed said, “I think Joe was kind of rattled a little bit . . . It just didn’t look like he had a hold on the offense.’’

Yesterday, Reed tried to clarify.

“That was about the last game,’’ he said. “It’s irrelevant to what we’re doing right now, getting ready for the Patriots. What was said was something I said about the whole team. It wasn’t just Joe being criticized about how we play.’’

Under pressure

Flacco hasn’t been the only one getting criticized in Baltimore. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has been questioned about his game plans this season, particularly against the Texans. “We’re trying to build an offense to win division championships,’’ Cameron said. “That’s what it’s about to us. They said the same thing about us in San Diego when we were the No. 1 offense in the league.’’ . . . Reed (ankle) was, again, the only player on the Ravens’ injury list. He was limited in practice yesterday.

Amalie Benjamin can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.

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