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Marlon Humphrey's Plan to Elevate His Game Involves New Ravens Receivers

From left: WR Nelson Agholor, CB Marlon Humphrey
From left: WR Nelson Agholor, CB Marlon Humphrey

Marlon Humphrey is back in the NFL's Top 100, sitting at No. 92 after being left off the list a year ago. Rather than basking in the praise, Humphrey and his coaches are using it as motivation.

"Coaches asked me today if there were 91 guys better than me," Humphrey said with a furrowed brow. "We'll see."

Humphrey was undoubtedly one of the league's top cornerbacks last season. In man coverage, Humphrey earned Pro Football Focus' highest grade (90.2) of any cornerback in the league, and it wasn't even close. Overall, he had the 17th-best grade of any cornerback in the league.

The three-time Pro Bowler is 27 years old and in the prime of his career as he enters his seventh NFL season. He's still a perfectionist looking to hone his craft. This year, he wants to get even more physical right off the snap.

"I want to get back to winning in press man," Humphrey said. "Winning in the first five yards should I say. I think I can stop with anybody. I think I can run with anybody, but I want to make my job a lot easier at the line of scrimmage."

Good news is Humphrey will be challenged at Ravens training camp unlike ever before. With the wide receiver additions of Odell Beckham Jr., first-round pick Zay Flowers and Nelson Agholor, Humphrey will get a lot of good reps.

"The good thing about having really good wide receivers is a lot of different releases, a lot of different speeds, a lot of different guys' tempos," Humphrey said. "So, trying to get in front of Zay, Odell, [Rashod] Bateman, [James] Proche, [Devin] Duvernay. Trying to get in front of these guys and try to get hands on them. I really want to try to make these guys better, but also make myself better as well."

It's not just about improving himself but being a leader among the other cornerbacks. Marcus Peters was a football savant who shared a lot of knowledge, both in the classroom and on the field, with his fellow cornerbacks. With Peters now in Las Vegas, Humphrey is taking ownership of leading the cornerbacks.

"I want the hardest corner any of our wide receivers to see is me, Rock [Ya-Sin], and the guys we have at corner," Humphrey said. "That's the biggest thing. I'm trying to lead that room, and everybody follow up. There's not a big gap from the best guy to the worst guy. We want to have that gap as small as possible. I think if we can do that, we will be very successful."

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