Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith spent last Thursday night trailing a few steps behind Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, enduring a rough outing where he was unable to prevent him from reaching the end zone.
The Pro Bowl wide receiver caught three passes for 55 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown pass during the Ravens' 27-23 win, as Smith was primarily responsible for guarding him.
Smith was accountable about what happened, but emphasized that specific knowledge of coverage schemes and assignments is generally only known by players and coaches.
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“There's a lot to learn as a whole defense,” Smith said. “I could be more aggressive. I know what you're getting at. Nobody on the outside knows what happens on the inside. There were some holes that need to be fixed, and we worked on them this week.”
Although Smith has frequently drawn praise from the coaching staff, this wasn't the kind of game they had envisioned. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound 2011 first-round draft pick didn't get physical with Jones, playing off instead of employing press coverage techniques.
“I think he's done a great job, I don't think he played particularly good the other night,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “He's got a technique he's got to use and he didn't use it the other night. He's got a distinct advantage in a way that he can play, and he didn't necessarily play that way last week. I think he'll learn from that.”
Smith declined to elaborate on what exactly unfolded defensively against Jones, a big, fast downfield target.
“I'm way too honest,” Smith said. “I don't want to say the wrong thing, but nothing is ever as simple as people think it is.”
Pees said it's critical that Smith gain knowledge from what happened and put it behind him.
“Look, there's not a defensive back in the Hall of Fame that hasn't gotten beat,” Pees said. “You've got to have a short memory. If something happens to you, don't let it happen again. If you hang your head and feel bad and sorry for yourself.."