The most significant contribution from Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith during the Ravens' Super Bowl run was dominating Denver Broncos star cornerback Champ Bailey in a January playoff game.
The speedy former Maryland standout twice bolted past Bailey for touchdown catches, scoring on receptions of 59 yards and 32 yards during the Ravens' 38-35 AFC divisional-round double-overtime victory.
While Smith has been thrust into the role of the Ravens' top receiver following the offseason trade of Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers following a contract dispute and is at full health, Bailey is hampered by a foot injury. The 12-time Pro Bowl selection is regarded as a question mark Thursday night heading into the NFL regular-season-opener against the Ravens.
"I'm not necessarily concerned whether he plays or not, that's not really my job, we prepare as if he is playing," said Smith, who caught three passes for 98 yards against Bailey in the playoff game after being held to one catch for 14 yards during the regular season. "Champ Bailey is a guy I have a lot of respect for.
"He's definitely one of my favorite players to watch coming up. To play against him is always fun and going to be a challenge because he's still one of the best corners in the game."
The Ravens' starting offense didn't click often during the preseason, often appearing out of sync as quarterback Joe Flacco tried to developing timing and chemistry with a revamped receiving corps.
Smith dismissed the notion that lackluster preseason performances represent negative signs for what will unfold during the regular season.
"The games are what's most important," said Smith, who caught a touchdown pass from Flacco against the Atlanta Falcons in the second preseason game. "Last preseason, we were terrible and didn't perform the way were supposed to. We heard how terrible we were from [critics] and then the first game of the year we have one of the best offensive performances in team history [a 44-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals]. Preseason is preseason. You want to click at the right time."
twitter.com/RavensInsiderCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun