The significance of replacing
Before Huff officially signed his three-year, $6 million contract, he texted Reed to let him know that his old job was in good hands. Reed left Baltimore and joined the
"It means a lot," Huff said Thursday afternoon during an introductory news conference at team headquarters. "He's one of the greatest, if not the greatest free safety to ever play the game. I just told him that I'll carry on his legacy, carry on the tradition of great safeties in Baltimore. I'm definitely going to go out there and hold up my end.
"For me to come in here, I don't really feel like I'm following his footsteps. I'm more kind of starting my own legacy and going in here to help the defense and help us win."
Cut by the
Huff, 30, is regarded highly for his tackling and positional flexibility, lining up everywhere from free safety, strong safety and cornerback. And the former
“He's just a tremendous player, a tremendous guy,” Ravens coach
Huff is nearly five years younger than Reed, and $9 million less expensive over the span of their contracts.
Huff has only missed four games in seven seasons since being drafted with the seventh overall pick in 2006, five selections prior to the Ravens landing
Ravens general manager
"Ozzie talked to me and told me how much he liked me coming out," said Huff, who has recorded 453 career tackles, 11 interceptions, 5 1/2 sacks, 57 pass deflections and four forced fumbles. "Things didn't work out then, but seven years later, at least I'm a Raven. Everything happens for a reason."
A former high school track star from Irving, Texas who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds when he was entering the NFL, Huff visited the
"At this point in my career, it's not chasing money, it's not chasing things like that," said Huff, who will wear No. 29 in Baltimore. "It's chasing that Super Bowl ring. Baltimore is that place. You want to come here and win a Super Bowl. This is where you want to be."
Although the Ravens trounced the Raiders, 55-20, last season, quarterback
"As soon as I see [Flacco], I'll have to give him a hard time," Huff said with a laugh. "I'll always replay that."
The Ravens intend to line up Huff at free safety, but he does offer them the ability to shift to cornerback in nickel and dime situations. Huff started 14 games at cornerback last season for Oakland because of injuries.
At 6 feet, 211 pounds, Huff provides good mobility and instincts. A glance at his highlight reel shows Huff barreling into the backfield to sack
"The thing that stands out is you look at a guy in the back end who has a lot of range," Ravens secondary coach Teryl Austin said. "He's a good tackler and he's durable. Guys I know who've coached him have lots of good things to say about him."
The Ravens are attempting to overhaul a defense that lost inside linebacker
They've signed four free agents: former Pro Bowl outside linebacker
Huff never experienced a winning season in Oakland and was quickly sold on the Ravens' tradition of success.
While attending the Longhorns' Pro Day workout in Austin, Texas, this week with Ravens cornerback and fellow Texas football alum
Reed's departure gave Huff confidence that Baltimore was the right place for him.
"Anytime you see a great organization like this and you see a guy leaving your spot, you think, 'I can play that spot,'" Huff said. "I can come in here and fill that role and hopefully not leave any drop-off."