The news that rookie Jimmy Smith (high left ankle sprain) was upgraded to full participation Friday and Chris Carr (left hamstring) was limited for the second straight day could be interpreted as scary news for opposing offenses.
That’s because a unit that is already ranked seventh in the NFL against the pass appears to be getting closer to adding even more depth with the addition of Carr and Smith, the team’s first-round pick in April.
The defense has unearthed a pair of starters in Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb, and Danny Gorrer has held his own as the fifth defensive back in the Ravens’ nickel package.
“It’s a credit to what we’ve done so far,” coach John Harbaugh said Thursday. “I saw a quote where [seven-time Pro Bowl free safety] Ed [Reed] said, ‘We haven’t really done anything yet.’ And Ed’s right. You haven’t done anything until you’ve gone through most of the season. Then you can start talking about where you fit and where you rank and all that because you’re one bad outing away from all of a sudden not being very good. So it’s not time to start patting yourself on the back. But we talk to our guys all the time about the fact that we need to get better, and we’re only going to get better. The fact that Chris Carr and Jimmy Smith are part of the equation as we go forward, hopefully, that should help us be better. We’re going to have to be better.”
Carr, who said Friday that he plans to play in Monday night’s game at the Jacksonville Jaguars, sounded grateful that the defense has played so well despite the absence of Domonique Foxworth (injured reserve), Smith and himself.
“It just means that we have a really cohesive unit, that we always talk about football, and everybody is willing to learn,” Carr said. “And even when it’s not your time to play, people have the confidence in their abilities that when they do go in, they’re going to play well. And everybody has confidence in whoever is out there. And everybody’s been paying attention throughout the years and trying to get better as players. It’s definitely been beneficial having the same defense for the past three years and having the same guys here for the past three years. And so we have no corners that are playing that haven’t been here before. So when you’re comfortable with the scheme and you’re comfortable with your abilities and you’ve been working hard on your own skills and with our linebackers and D-linemen playing so well and [defensive coordinator] Chuck [Pagno] calling the plays, too, it’s just been very beneficial for everybody.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun