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Tested More, Lardarius Webb Says Bring It

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Top cornerback Lardarius Webb is being targeted an average of 6.6 times per game.

Before his knee injury last year, Lardarius Webb was on the verge of being dubbed a shutdown corner.

Now in his first handful of games, teams are going right at Webb. And they’ve had success so far.

According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Webb has been targeted 40 times through six games, an average of 6.6 times per contest. That’s his highest mark of the past three seasons.

Before being injured last year, Webb was averaging just four targets per game. When he played in every game in 2011, he was aimed at 5.4 times per game.

“They’re testing me a little bit more,” Webb said Wednesday. “I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m coming off the ACL [anterior cruciate ligament tear] or maybe they’re not seeing me play well. But they are coming.”

Webb has allowed 62.5 percent of the passes at him to be completed, according to PFF. That’s higher than fellow starting cornerback Jimmy Smith, who has been targeted just once more (41) and allowed a completion percentage of 53.7.

Last week, Webb surrendered a 64-yard touchdown to Packers receiver Jordy Nelson. The Packers faked a run away from Webb before rolling Aaron Rodgers back deep in the pocket. By the time Webb took his eyes off the run, Nelson already had two steps on him.

“[I need to] just keep working on my eyes,” Webb said. “My eyes were somewhere they didn’t need to be, in the backfield. Just keep them on my man. That’s a play I’m supposed to be on top of.”

Defensive Coordiantor Dean Pees said that at this point, Webb is more getting accustomed to having his eyes in the right place than trying to overcome any difficulties with his knee.

“He’s just getting back into – I don’t know if I want to say playing shape – playing mode, which takes a little while,” Pees said. “I have the utmost confidence in him.”

Webb isn’t shaken by the big play against him, or by more targets from the opponent.

“Just keep coming, man. In a while they’ll learn,” he said. “Let them keep on game-planning me and coming at me. In a minute, 21 is going to rise.”

Webb said he’s baiting other teams to throw at him. He has five pass deflections, but has yet to notch an interception this season.

“I guess they see a couple games where some guys are getting some catches,” he said. “So continue to come. I’m ready to take the challenge.”

Webb will have a tough assignment this Sunday in Pittsburgh. Steelers receiver Antonio Brown is seventh in the NFL in receiving yards (498).

“He’s a great receiver,” Webb said. “He’s one of those guys that can beat you in one play.”

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