Former Terp Wilson makes self at home with Ravens

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For cornerback Josh Wilson, the best part about joining the Baltimore Ravens had nothing to do with the team's playoff potential or the proximity to his alma mater, the University of Maryland.

''Being here and being at home is definitely No. 2,'' Wilson said Friday. ''No. 1 is having a pass rush and a front seven that is amazing. I grew up watching these guys.''

Operating behind that kind of line should make his job easier - once he settles in.

It's been a whirlwind week for Wilson, who was traded from the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional draft pick. Immediately after Tuesday's practice in Seattle, he was told of the deal and ordered to board a plane for Baltimore.

He took a physical Wednesday, traveled with the Ravens to St. Louis for their preseason finale Thursday and then was back at the team's training complex on Friday for a morning practice.

All the while, Wilson studied a new playbook. The sooner he masters that, the sooner he becomes a part of a defense he's followed since his days at DeMatha High in Hyattsville, Md.

''If I have to sit here and every day, go over this defense, come out here by myself and figure it out, that's what I'm going to do,'' Wilson said. ''Normally I carry my bible around, but right now I'm going to have my bible in my left (hand) and my playbook in my right.''

Wilson enhances a defensive backfield that was left short-handed by a season-ending knee injury to cornerback Domonique Foxworth, Wilson's former teammate at Maryland. The Ravens are also without safety Ed Reed (hip), and cornerbacks Fabian Washington and Lardarius Webb are both returning from knee operations.

Barring an unexpected battle with the playbook, Wilson should be in uniform and on the field when Baltimore opens the season on Sept. 13 against the New York Jets.

''He's obviously a guy that has started for two years, so I wouldn't put any limits on what he can possibly do,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ''It's just a matter of how quickly he learns what we're doing and how comfortable we are in putting him out there. But, a situation could dictate that he has to be out there, and that's why we felt like we needed a quality player who's got some experience.''

Wilson played in 40 games over three seasons with the Seahawks. He enjoyed his time there - except for the manner in which his stay ended.

''It was definitely not expected to let me go through the practice. I'll remember that,'' he said.

The selection of fourth-round draft pick Walter Thurmond made Wilson expendable to the rebuilding Seahawks.

''I didn't see it coming,'' Wilson said. ''But when you feel like you're the stepchild and they've got their baby boy over there, they're going to massage him a little bit more than they're going to massage me.''

About the only downside to the trade for the 25-year-old Wilson is that he won't get to work with Foxworth in the backfield this season. When both were at Maryland, Foxworth served as Wilson's tutor.

''My true freshman year I was his backup. All I did was listen to what he said,'' Wilson said. ''My sophomore year we were out on the field starting together, and I'm still listening. He coached me up, and I'd say that's one of the guys who was very influential in my life in the football aspect.

''Now, being here, I'm going to go over to his house and get in this playbook with him and do it all up again.''

He might also consider asking Foxworth to give him a tour of Maryland.

''Somebody asked me, 'How far is home from here?''' Wilson said. ''I don't even know how to get to the highway from here.''

Wilson sure knows his way around the football field, even when it comes to returning kickoffs - a chore he would be delighted to do if asked.

''This team is going to do whatever it takes to get to the Super Bowl, and I just want to be a part of that,'' he said. ''I'm going to do whatever they need me to do. If they want me to get back there and do kicks, I'll score touchdowns that way.''

Tagged: Seahawks, Ravens, Ed Reed, Domonique Foxworth, Josh Wilson

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