Veteran safety Eric Weddle is quickly making a strong impression with the Ravens.
After the first week of OTA’s, both coach Johh Harbaugh and defensive back Lardarius Webb mentioned Weddle as being a difference maker, after being acquired in free agency from the Chargers.
Weddle’s experience as a three-time Pro Bowler should be vital for a Ravens secondary that surrendered too many big plays last season.
Webb sees Weddle seamlessly taking command of the secondary, calling out coverages and making sure teammates are lined up properly.
“If he has anything to tell me I’m always listening,” Webb said. “He’s going to be big for this defense – for this team. He speaks up. I told him, `We want Eric Weddle. Don’t hold back. Don’t be quiet. We want you. If you yelled when you were with the Chargers, I want you coming out here yelling. Just be yourself. Grow the beard back, because we want the beard. If that’s who you were, grow the beard. He’s growing it back. He’s being himself and we’re loving it. It was a great move.”
Weddle has been offering advice to Webb on making the transition from cornerback to safety. Weddle can also lead by example, helping the development of young safeties like Terrence Brooks and Matt Elam.
At age 31, Weddle wants to show he can still play at a Pro Bowl level, and he desperately wants to make the playoffs. Harbaugh seems to have no doubt Weddle will make the Ravens’ defense better.
“I just really appreciate his attitude,” Harbaugh said. “He’s got an enthusiasm for the work day. He loves football. He loves every part of the work day. He loves every part of being in here and being a football player. There’s never something that you look at him and he’s not excited to do. That is infectious. That’s something that makes us all better, and to me, that’s one of the things that a great leader does and he’s got those qualities.
“He fits in with how we do things around here perfectly. I give (general manager) Ozzie (Newsome) all the credit in the world. That was a great signing.”