Gary Kubiak Expects Steve Smith To Get Back On Track


The way wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. started the season, it looked like he might be in store for a season reminiscent of his All-Pro years in Carolina where he was one the best receivers in the NFL.

Smith opened his Ravens career by topping 100 yards in three of his first four games, setting a pace that had him on track for one of the best seasons of his career.

But Smith has quieted since then.

He's crossed 100 receiving yards just once the last six games and has averaged 29.3 receiving yards the last three weeks. He hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 6 in Tampa Bay.

Despite the recent lull, Offense Coordinator Gary Kubiak still sees Smith coming up with his fair share of production down the stretch.

"You have to get all of your playmakers the ball," Kubiak said. "Steve is doing a good job, and hopefully we get him back on the track that he was on earlier in the year. But he's playing hard, working hard."

The biggest reason for Smith's recent dip in production, Kubiak said, is that the Ravens are spreading the ball around to some of the other targets on offense. In Sunday's 21-7 victory over the Titans, wide receivers Torrey Smith and Marlon Brown, fullback Kyle Kuszczyk and tight end Owen Daniels all had multiple catches.

That's been the theme throughout the recent stretch of the season.

Torrey Smith is "playing as well as he's played all year the last few weeks," Kubiak said, and he has five touchdowns in as many games. Brown started the year with one catch in the first three games, and he has nine grabs since then. Juszczyk has catches in five straight games after catching passes in just two of the first five games.

"The ball is getting spread around," Kubiak said. "I have to always find ways to get guys the ball. I wish I could get them all the perfect amount every week, but those things usually don't work that way."

Smith's numbers also would have looked much better if an 80-yard game-winning touchdown against the Bengals in Week 8 had stayed on the board. Smith was flagged for offensive pass interference on the paly, which wiped off the touchdown and gave the Ravens the loss.

Smith and the rest of the offense have a chance now to recuperate over the bye week, assess his first 10 games with the Ravens, and gear up for the final six games of the season.

"Man, this bye is right on time," Smith said. "It's great timing. It's not too late, it's not too early. It's perfect timing."

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