SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 12: B.W. Webb #23 of the New York Giants reacts in the final moments of their NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on November 12, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Photo: Ezra Shaw
Photo: Ezra Shaw

Veteran defensive back hopes to find role with Bengals

B.W. Webb has bounced around to at least one different team every year since the Dallas Cowboys drafted him with a fourth-round pick in 2013.

That has admittedly made it a little hard for the 29-year-old cornerback to settle in and adjust to new schemes and terminology wherever he’s been, but joining the Cincinnati Bengals has felt different.

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Webb already had a certain comfort level in coming to Cincinnati, thanks to his connection with defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, and that has made the transition smooth so far. The Bengals signed Webb to a three-year deal during free agency in March, reconnecting him with Anarumo, who served as his defensive backs coach with the New York Giants in 2018.

“It’s been great to be back with him,” Webb said. “He’s a great coach. He knows how I play, what I need to work on and what I bring to the table, and he’s given me a better understanding of the game. It makes it easier coming to a new team when you already have that connection with the defensive coordinator. I learned a lot from him last year, and I’m excited to be back with him.”

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Not only that, but Webb also is familiar with safeties coach Robert Livingston, whom he played with at William & Mary in 2008 and 2009. Livingston was two years ahead of Webb in college and served as a mentor of sorts.

Webb will bring some competition for slot corner Darqueze Dennard, who re-signed with the Bengals on a one-year deal nine days after they brought in Webb. Dennard did not participate in the first practice of Organized Team Activities on Monday, which was the only day open to the media this week, but Webb already drew some attention from the staff.

When asked if any individual players stood out, head coach Zac Taylor mentioned just one by name.

“Defensively, I saw a lot of guys standout,” he said. “B.W. Webb I saw make some plays. I really thought the communication defense they were sharp especially first group that they had out there they did a really good job. Those guys all stood out.”

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Webb is coming off the best of his five seasons in the NFL and hopes to build on that with his sixth team. In 16 games with the Giants, including 13 starts, he made 59 tackles, including a sack, and recorded six passes defensed, one interception and a forced fumble. Webb has played in 65 career games with 23 starts, 127 total tackles, 20 passes defensed, three interceptions, one forced fumble and one sack after also spending time with Pittsburgh (2014), Tennessee (’15), New Orleans (’16) and Cleveland (’17).

The 5-foot-11, 188-pound journeyman says he brings a lot to the table for Cincinnati.

“I’ll bring energy and laughter; I’m going to have a good time when I’m out there,” Webb said. “I have experience so to the young guys, I’m there for them. I’m not going to be throwing everything at them, but if they need me, they know where to find me.”

He also brings what he calls the best hair on the team. Dre Kirkpatrick’s dreadlocks don’t even come close, Webb joked.

Webb has been growing his hair out for 10 years, and it’s become the one constant during his NFL career – something that has made him stand out regardless where he’s been and what role he’s played.

“I love my hair,” he said. “It’s with me every day so it’s my baby. I gotta take care of it, and it will take care of me. I don’t change it too much, might get it braided here or there, but I just leave it down (in dreadlocks).”

Webb decided to grow out his hair after getting a short haircut one day in college and not particularly liking it.

“My cousin, DeBrian Holmes, had dreads, and he also played at William & Mary,” Webb said. “I thought it looked cool hanging out of his helmet so I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to get dreads too and hopefully they look as good on me as they do on him.’ They haven’t let me down.”

Now, Webb wants to be known for more than just his hair with the Bengals. He said he feels like he fits in well with what they are trying to do and is enjoying the fast-pace Anarumo has established so far.

“We’re running around, flying around and having fun,” Webb said.

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