Every team, every coach and every player in the NFL always says the number one goal each week is to improve on the previous week, and Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith did just that in week two with an impressive performance against the Cleveland Browns.
The former 2011 first round pick, Smith has been the recipient of a load of criticism over his time with the Ravens and rightfully so. Smith has struggled mightily in his time in Baltimore, and has even been called by some fans as the biggest first round bust in franchise history.
Although we don't think he has been that bad to earn that label, he has struggled and that cannot be debated, but last week he made the best improvement from week one.
Smith, who was torched in the preseason, and in week one as he allowed a 28 yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell where Smith was beat like a drum, but he bounced back in week two. Playing 60 snaps against the Browns, Smith covered Cleveland wide receiver Greg Little primarily and held him to just four grabs for 33 yards.
The biggest improvement to the eye test was his ability to cut and turn while in coverage and not lose his man. This improvement led to three pass deflections and he added three tackles as well.
"Jimmy Smith had a very strong game," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He made two plays back-to-back there at the end where he got [pass breakups] and was pretty much one-on-one there against good receivers with good throws that he got the ball out, which was just so big for us in getting that last stop.”
Baltimore will need Smith to continue his good play this week as the Ravens host the Houston Texans and will likely be in a lot of one-on-one coverage as the Ravens will look to stop running back Arian Foster.
"I thought I played well," said Smith, a 2011 first-round draft pick from Colorado. "It was definitely a lot better than the first game, for all of us."
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