Cary Williams is tired of watching practice from the sidelines.
After a hip injury limited his participation throughout the offseason, the Ravens cornerback is excited about returning to the practice field when training camp opens this week.
"I'm just chomping at the bit," Williams said Sunday when reporting for camp. "I can't wait to go out there and do what I got to do and just show my skills, and show how great of shape I'm in."
Williams had surgery following the 2011 season to repair a torn labrum in his hip. He participated in individual drills during minicamp practices, but the Ravens didn't want to rush him back to full practice.
He was able to run at top speed and move laterally during minicamp last month, and the next step is returning to full-contact activity. Williams didn't specify about whether he would be cleared by the team's training staff to immediately return to practice, but said he feels good enough to do so.
"As far as I'm concerned, I could start right away," he said. "In my opinion, I feel like I'm ready. I don't want to take any days off. I just want to jump right back in there with the guys and do what I do."
When Williams gets back on the field, he will immediately be thrust into one of the most intriguing position battles of training camp. Williams will compete with second-year cornerback Jimmy Smith for the starting job opposite Lardarius Webb.
Williams started all 16 games last season and played well, finishing the year with 77 tackles and 18 passes defended. Smith, last season's first-round pick, got off to a slow start because of an ankle injury, but he showed glimpses of his potential with some impressive plays in the second half of the season.
Williams, a five-year veteran, is now out to defend his starting job.
"I just feel like going out there and showcasing everything I did last season and doing it to a better degree," Williams said. "Now camp is here, and I get to do that."
Regardless of who ends up as the team's top two cornerbacks, expectations will once again be high for the Ravens defense, and Williams believes the group could have another impressive season ahead.
"I think we got a great opportunity ahead of us," Williams said. "If we just take it one day at a time and just continue to work hard and get better each and every day, then the sky is the limit for the defense."