John Harbaugh: Kendrick Lewis' Best Football is Ahead

The Ravens signed safety Kendrick Lewis in part because of his experience as a five-year starter.

But they also brought him in because they think Lewis still has room to grow.

Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked for his scouting report on the new Baltimore safety.

"He's a good, smart player, and I think his best football is in front of him," Harbaugh said at the NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix.

Since Ed Reed left following the Super Bowl 2012 season, the Ravens have cycled through less- experienced safeties. 

They inserted rookie Matt Elam alongside James Ihedigbo the following year, then had Elam, Darian Stewart, Jeromy Miles and Will Hill as the starters last season. None of those players had more than two years starting experience at safety.

Safety is one position that is difficult to learn at the NFL level, where defensive and offensive systems are complex and there's a lot of thought and communication required on the back end.

Lewis brings needed know-how to the position.

"Kendrick Lewis is a veteran safety," Harbaugh said. "The first thing I noticed about him is he knows how to play the position. He's in position, he's got good eyes, he's got really good range, he's a good tackler."

On the topic of veteran safeties, Harbaugh was also asked about the possibility of the Steelers' Troy Polamalu not returning to the black and gold next year.

Polamalu has been a major piece of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry since his rookie year in 2003, pre-dating Harbaugh's time with the Ravens. But he's certainly made his share of plays in the AFC North since Harbaugh arrived in 2008.

"Great player. You had to account for him at all times," Harbaugh said. "We've had times where we didn't account for him. It's like, 'He's wearing No. 43, he's got hair down to his shoulders, there's no way we should miss the guy. Block him. Block him, please.'"

Harbaugh said he didn't want to answer the question of whether he'll be happy to see Polamalu gone from the Steelers.

"I love Troy Polamalu," Harbaugh said. "Every time I talk to him, he's been nothing but gracious. He's a wonderful guy, great player. Wow, what a great player."

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