Torrey Smith Answers Criticism


Torrey Smith told everyone this week that it was only a matter of time until he found the end zone.

"It will happen," Smith told a swarm of reporters Friday around his locker.

He was exactly right.

After taking criticism from pundits and fans on social media for his quiet start to the season, the fourth-year receiver caught his first touchdown during the Ravens' dominating 38-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

"It felt good, it felt kind of like breaking the ice and I look forward to more," Smith said.

On the touchdown, Smith beat Panthers cornerback Melvin White while he was in one-on-one coverage and hauled in the contested catch in the end zone. Smith finished the game with two catches for 53 yards, and he now has eight catches for 153 yards through the first four games.

Just looking at the number of his receptions doesn't tell the entire story for Smith, as he's been incredibly productive at drawing penalties from opposing defenders. Smith has drawn five pass interference or holding calls this year, and forced a pair of those penalties Sunday.

The 20-yard pass interference penalty set up his touchdown catch a few plays later.

"I told him, I said, 'You might be leading the league in drawing big pass interference penalties. Is that a bad thing? That's a play made,'" Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He didn't really want to hear it, but he came back and made the next play, so it was good."

Drawing the pass interference penalties has cut into Smith's production early this year, but Smith didn't want to get caught up in looking at his individual numbers.

"If [pass interference] counted as points, we probably would have won by 100," he said. ""It happens every game which is frustrating for me individually, but it's great that we continue to move the ball. And we miss out on opportunities often times when that happens, but just got to keep on working."

The quiet start to the season has been unexpected for Smith, as he's coming off a season where he topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. His opportunities have been limited in the first four games, but Harbaugh and Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak have stressed that Smith could have big plays at any point.

"It's how you handle it when you know you're in a dry spell a little bit," Harbaugh said. "You know you're going to come out the other end unless you basically get down on yourself and don't believe that you can come out the other end and compound your problem."

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