Lardarius Webb got his first taste of the Super Bowl last season.
The cornerback watched the from the sidelines as the Ravens won the Lombardi Trophy, and working toward his own Super Bowl opportunity is driving him back from a torn ACL.
"It feels good to be a Super Bowl champion, but I want to play in it," Webb said. "That's my motivation to this day. I want to play in a Super Bowl."
The hope is for Webb to be at full strength for when the Ravens open the regular season Sept. 5 against the Denver Broncos, and Head Coach John Harbaugh said during last week’s pre-draft press conference that Webb looks like "he should be ready to roll by training camp."
Webb didn't want to give a timetable for his return when he talked with reporters Tuesday, and simply emphasized that he's patiently working his way back.
"I'm just working my butt off, and when the time comes, No. 21 will be back," Webb said. "We're just taking our time."
Webb went down this year in the Week 6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
This is the second ACL tear that he has dealt with in the past three seasons, but the injuries occurred on different knees. Having the experience from the first process has given him familiarity with the recovery process, and an understanding of how his body will react to the rehab.
"It did [help], just from a confidence level, knowing what I'm going to have to go through," Webb said. "It made it very easy. All I can do is just come here and work every day, and that's what I'm going to do."
Webb made a full recovery from the first ACL surgery, and became one of the top cornerbacks in the game. The Ravens gave him a six-year contract reportedly worth $50 million before last season, and he developed into one of the emerging leaders on the defense.
The Ravens expect him to make a similar recovery this time around, and will count on him with future Hall of Famer Ed Reed now gone.
"That's why I'm here now. I'm here working out with the guys, just interacting with them, learning the new guys," Webb said about taking on a leadership role during the offseason.
"Ed taught us a lot of things, on and off the field, being a leader and just watching him to see how he lives his everyday life. We paid attention while he was here, so we'll continue doing what he taught us."
Webb was close with Reed during his time in Baltimore, and leaned heavily on the veteran safety for guidance.
"[Ed] took all of us up under his wing," Webb said. "You just might think he took me because he was my favorite player, so everything I did was trying to emulate him, trying to be like Ed Reed. He's gone now, and I wish him the best."
In addition to losing Reed, the Ravens also have to replace safety Bernard Pollard and cornerback Cary Williams, who were both starters in the secondary for the last two years.
Their departures leave Webb as the clear leader of the group, and he has high expectations for them this season.
"We're going to continue being the Ravens defense," Webb said. "We're trying to make it to the playoffs again and get this run started."