Steve Smith: I'm Accountable For My Play

Steve Smith Sr. came into the Under Armour Performance Center Tuesday to spend some extra time with Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram.

Smith and Engram spent nearly two hours in the coach's office watching more than 100 plays from the season. The 14-year veteran came with pen and paper in hand, looking at the good and the bad to determine where he needed to improve the final six weeks of the season.

"I went in there with a notebook and just was real with myself," Smith said. "I internalize a lot of things. What can I do to help? What can I do to improve? What do I need to improve on that's a negative, and what do I need to continue to do to get better?"

Smith leads the Ravens with 49 catches for 728 yards, but his first season in Baltimore has been uneven.

He started the year red hot through the first six weeks, which included an impressive two-touchdown performance against his former team. He's quieted since then, and hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 6. Smith went into the bye week averaging only 29.3 receiving yards per game the last three weeks.

"I walked in there kind of down, kind of not sure what to see," Smith said about his meeting with Engram. "And I walked out of there encouraged because there are a lot of things that I did great, and there are a few things that I need to improve on to be more dependable in certain areas. That falls on me. That doesn't fall on Joe. That doesn't fall on Coach Kubiak, Coach Harbaugh, anybody. That falls directly on me.

"I'm a professional. I've been in this game for a long time. If you can't hold yourself accountable, you can't expect anybody else to do it for you."

Part of the reason that Smith's numbers have dipped is because the production has shifted to other weapons on the offense. Wide receiver Torrey Smith has scored five touchdowns in the last five games, and he's seeing more targets after a quiet start to the season.

But the team stressed that if the offense is performing at the level it's supposed to, all the players at skill positions will see improved numbers.

"I haven't worried about it too much," quarterback Joe Flacco said about Smith's production. "It's just the way some games have been going, and we want to play better obviously.  The bottom line is winning, and we just have to go out there and do what we have to do to win the football game.  If we're playing the way we want to, then he and everybody should be a big part of it."

This week could be an ideal opportunity for Smith to get back on track. He's played his best games this year against NFC South foes, notching 15 catches for 316 yards and three touchdowns in three matchups against his former division.

Smith has also put up big performances against the Saints over the years. He has topped 200 receiving yards five times and has 10 career touchdowns against New Orleans. 

"He's had some pretty good games against these guys," Flacco said. "He's obviously played these guys for a long time. Hopefully when we get there he feels comfortable and we get him another big game."

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