Cornerback B.W. Webb became the Bengals’ third free agent signee of the offseason the moment he signed his three-year deal with Cincinnati.
At the time, Darqueze Dennard was still weighing his options as a free agent, and it didn’t look like he would be the returning Cincinnati. Webb looked poised to become Dennard’s replacement at nickel cornerback, and one week later, Dennard signed back with the Bengals for one year. The Bengals’ 2014 first-round pick may be returning for 2019, but the signing of Webb is far from a wasted one.
“It was very important to get [Webb] here, because I can trust him,” Bengals’ defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo told Bengals.com. “He can help coach the other guys about the little nuisances of the defense. He knows what I want and how I want it done, and that is a huge help for me.”
Webb spent last season working closely with Anarumo, who was the Giants’ defensive backs coach. Webb started 13 games, and after the team dealt Eli Apple, Webb became a starting outside corner for the team.
That obviously shows how much Anarumo trusts him, and when you are a new coordinator on a team, it is a great luxury to have a few players who can help talk new players through the changes from their own perspective.
The Bengals starting three cornerbacks are well in place with William Jackson, Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard. No one is going to realistically dispute that. It will be interesting to see how the depth chart at that position will break down after those three though.
Webb will be competing with Tony McRae, KeiVarae Russell, Darius Phillips, Davontae Harris and rookie Jordan Brown. Webb is making the team, but where he falls on the depth chart will be interesting to watch. His years of journeying around the NFL have prepared him for this fight though. Through his seven seasons he has played with eight teams, and has never managed to stick around for two straight regular seasons with anyone.
“Nothing changes,” Webb said. “You just got to remain focused, because you know what you have to do. You know what your job is. You just have to keep pushing, sometimes it’s just the business, man.”
Webb’s immense determination is built from years of constantly fighting for a roster spot. That should go a long way towards helping him climb the depth chart. His work ethic is something that should become contagious among the players.
“He’s always been a good player,” Bengals new defensive end Kerry Wynn said. “I watched him work all last year. He’s one of those guys that puts his head down, gets after it every play every single day. So, he deserves it.”
Webb certainly fits the mold of high character players that new head coach Zac Taylor has wanted to make the foundation of the new era of Bengals’ football. f Dennard moves on for real next offseason, Webb will become a frontrunner for his spot at nickel cornerback. For now, Webb just wants to focus on making himself the best player he can be.
“Hopefully I can grow with these guys,” Webb said. “I’m looking forward to it.”