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Williams Rejoins Deep Cornerback Corps


PLEASE NOTE:The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Ravens cornerback Cary Williams proved himself throughout the offseason and training camp, enough so to convince Baltimore to hold a spot for him on its 53-man roster while he served a two-game NFL suspension.

Now, just two weeks removed from making the team, Williams has another climb to get back into the rotation.

With the return of **Lardarius Webb** from injury, trade for **Josh Wilson** and expanded role of **Haruki Nakamura**, Williams has plenty of competition at cornerback.

Head Coach **John Harbaugh** said he doesn't know yet whether Williams will figure into Sunday's game plan against the Cleveland Browns.

"It's a possibility," Harbaugh said. "We'll have to see in practice how he looks and really how that 45-man roster shakes out."

Williams was eager to start Part II of his ascension at practice Wednesday.

"I definitely want to show that I haven't lost a step and still have that ability," Williams said.

Before his suspension, Williams looked to be a candidate to get snaps outside when the Ravens were facing three-wide formations. He notched interceptions in Baltimore's first two preseason games, showing his playmaking side, and continued to impress as a special teams gunner.

But Williams hasn't been able to be at the Ravens' training facility since Sept. 6, leaving him working out privately nearby in Owings Mills, Md.

"It's hard because you start to get into the groove of how the game is played and when you take two weeks off it kind of takes something from you," Williams said.

"But at the same time, those two weeks were the most humbling two weeks of my life. It helped me to really reflect on my mistakes and what's going on in my life and change for the better."

The Ravens secondary has changed for the better while Williams was out. With Webb now back in the mix and Wilson getting more familiar with the Ravens' defense, Baltimore used a rotational system with Webb, Wilson and Nakamura in the nickel slot against the Bengals.

It's similar to the rotation the Ravens have at inside linebacker with **Jameel McClain**, **Dannell Ellerbe** and the now-injured **Tavares Gooden**. The Ravens use different cornerbacks in different schemes that maximize their strengths – such as blitzing, coverage or run stopping.

"Those guys really give us a lot of flexibility with our packages," Harbaugh said. "So, we're going to be able to put a lot of defensive backs on the field and run different pressure packages and different coverage packages that are going to be tough for people to identify. So, that will be a plus for us."

Baltimore's secondary is currently ranked as the No. 2 unit in the NFL, allowing an average of 109.5 passing yards per game. Its depth, which Williams will help bolster, has been part of the reason.

"There's really no way an offense can get a bead on you," Nakamura said. "I think we've had success with that."

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