Jimmy Smith Doesn't Plan On Trash Talking (And May Not Follow) Odell Beckham Jr.


Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith has seen a kicking net get revenge on Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Smith has seen clips from Beckham's other emotional flare ups.

At this point, what sports fan hasn't?

But don't expect Smith to try to get under Beckham's skin the way other top-flight cornerbacks such as Washington's Josh Norman and Minnesota's Xavier Rhodes have the past three weeks.

"It's not really my game," Smith said Wednesday.

"I like to be at my best, and talking trash just gets me mad. I don't want to be out there trying to fight; I'd rather be trying to play football."

Statistically, Beckham hasn't been the same player that dazzled fans in his first two seasons so far this year. He posted 1,305 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games as a rookie in 2014. He bested that with 96 catches for 1,450 yards and 13 scores last season.

But Beckham has dipped to 359 yards on 27 receptions so far this year. He scored his first touchdown of the season three days ago against the Green Bay Packers. He's averaging about 30 yards less per game.

The Ravens aren't paying attention to the stats, however.

"Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the most gifted players in the league," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We've all seen the catches he's made. He obviously has a very fiery, competitive personality, which you respect. It's a big challenge. I think we need to know where [No.] 13 is at all times with our defense."

"He is kind of in a class by himself I think," Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees added. "He is like Randy Moss was in his day. He's just that elite, elite guy. He makes unbelievable catches. He has great body control. He's fast, a good route runner with unbelievable hands. What doesn't he have?

Smith said Beckham is in his top five wide receivers in the league (Atlanta's Julio Jones tops Smith's list).

Earlier this year, Norman took heat in the media for not following Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown. Two of the best in the game didn't match up every play.

Smith was asked Wednesday whether he plans on shadowing Beckham for the entire game. Smith has done it on occasion, including with Buffalo's Sammy Watkins in Week 1. Watkins posted four catches for 43 yards.

"It's up to the coaches, really," Smith said. "If the defensive coordinator and my defensive coach come up with the game plan, and they think that's a great matchup for me to shadow, then they'll call that matchup. If not, they won't."

Smith likes to press opposing receivers, which is in the mold of Norman and Rhodes. But while it appears to make sense to put the top cornerback on the top receiver, it's not always the best strategy. Cornerbacks mostly stay on one side of the field where they feel more comfortable.

"When you start matching up, you have to be able to match up all the way across the board," Pees said last week.

"There are a lot of factors that go into it – not just the guy, not just a receiver. That's why you have double coverage on some guys and stuff like that, so you don't always have to match up. And then, other games, it's easier to match up."

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