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Ravens news, notes and opinions on Jimmy Smith, Dennis Pitta, Joe Flacco and more
Remember when third-year cornerback Jimmy Smith was viewed as one of the primary concerns of the Ravens’ defense? You should. It was only about two months ago. Now, a case could be made that Smith has consistently been one of the Ravens’ best defensive players over the past six or seven weeks. He certainly has to be their most improved player. Smith battled all afternoon in the Ravens’ 23-20 overtime loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, helping to hold All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall to four catches for 42 yards. Smith had four tackles and broke up two passes, and according to Pro Football Focus, allowed just four catches for 25 yards on passes thrown in his direction. Over the Ravens’ last five games, Pro Football Focus has Smith being targeted 23 times, but only 12 of those balls have been caught for 131 yards and no touchdowns. When you consider Smith allowed six catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos, you can see how far he’s come. While Smith will continue to get tested -- and I’m sure there will be some good and bad moments ahead, like there are for all young cornerbacks -- my guess is the Ravens will look back in a couple months and consider Smith’s emergence as one of the season’s most encouraging developments.
By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun
November 19, 2013