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Cornerback Marlon Humphrey Getting Adjusted to NFL Life


Marlon Humphrey is getting used to a new normal.

Even though he's a first-round pick, the former Alabama standout is now the low man on the totem pole. That was clear Thursday afternoon when he was pushed to the back of the press conference line after practice. 

"Sorry Marlon," Coach Harbaugh joked as he walked past the rookie on his way to the microphone.

The No. 16 overall pick is learning what it takes to be an NFL player. He shined in a major college program, but he's quickly gathering that the professional game is a whole other beast.

"It's long days, I'll say that," Humphrey said. "I used to always wonder how football could be a job, but it seems like a normal job. You get breakfast, get lunch, get dinner, and in between you're just doing football. That was probably the only thing that's taking some time to get used to – having that 8-5 day."

On the field, Humphrey has held his own.

He's worked with the second team defense behind starting cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr. He hasn't been able to show his press coverage abilities, which may be his greatest strength, because contact isn't allowed during Organized Team Activities (OTAs).

But Humphrey has shown off his speed by running step-for-step with some of the team's speedy receivers, and he's also broken up a few passes.

Like all rookies, he's not a finished product. He found that out when third-year receiver Breshad Perriman beat him off the line on a slant route, caught a perfect pass from quarterback Joe Flacco and then outran him for a long touchdown.

"Breshad is pretty fast," Humphrey said with a smile. "Half the time I'm so tired I don't know who is who [at receiver], but I can always tell when they get to running."

The Ravens certainly have big expectations for Humphrey, but he has time to develop. Having veteran starters in place at cornerback means the Ravens don't have to rush Humphrey into the lineup.

Another possibility is for the Ravens to give Humphrey a look as a slot cornerback, depending on the severity of Tavon Young's knee injury. Humphrey has never played that role in a game, but said he saw action there in practice at Alabama.

Humphrey figures to be a significant piece of Baltimore's defensive plans, but for now the 20-year-old defender is just focused on learning from his elder peers.

"Those guys have a lot of experience, so I think it definitely helps," he said. "It helps me take those steps and kind of [makes] becoming that guy a little bit easier with all those guys around me."

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