Torrey Smith Says He Hasn't Lost Confidence


The start of the season hasn't gone the way Torrey Smith anticipated, but he hasn't given up.

The Ravens wide receiver is on pace for career lows in catches and receiving yards, and he's coming off a particularly frustrating game where the Ravens' comeback bid ended on a difficult fourth-down pass that he was unable to haul in for a catch.

Despite the slow start, Smith stressed that he hasn't lost faith in himself.

"I definitely have not lost confidence at all," Smith said Wednesday. "You can't. I learned that the hard way my rookie camp. It's not that I'm a bad player. Things just haven't been going my way. And no one controls that but me. I'll keep on working and things will show."

Smith took questions in the locker room for several minutes from a group of about a dozen reporters, who asked about Sunday's loss, his early season struggles and a contract year. He joked at times during the group interview, and also emphasized that he is not trying to force anything to break through the slump.

"I haven't been pressing at all," he said. "I've been conscious of that to make sure I haven't been pressing. I think it's very easy to fall into that. For me, it's more, 'When the opportunity comes, you have to make it.'"

Smith also emphasized that he wasn't going to try to dodge the media like players sometimes do.

"I'm man enough to be here when I'm successful and things are going good," he said. "And when things are going bad, I'm man enough to stand here and take it," he said.

After Sunday's loss, Smith tweeted that he was "sick," and that he was facing "very trying times on and off the field."

When asked to elaborate what he meant by the tweet, Smith kept some details private but explained that he wasn't referring to any upcoming contract negotiations. The fourth-year player is in the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason unless he and the Ravens agree to an extension before that time.

"I'm a human just like anyone else. We all have our problems that we deal with on and off the field. I'm thankful to have a beautiful wife and child that can help ease those problems when you come home," Smith said.

"I've never been one to worry about [the contract]. I just try to go out there and do what I do best. If I play well, everything else happens. I can honestly say without lying to you that the contract doesn't even come up. It's basically like a written rule. I don't even talk about it with my teammates or my family members or even Drew. Drew's my agent and we don't even talk about it. It's something that I don't even want it to be in my subconscious mind. I just want to go out there and play ball."

Smith has 11 catches for 176 yards and a touchdown this year. At the same point last season, he had 27 catches for 556 yards and a touchdown. Part of the reason his numbers are down this season is that he has drawn five pass interference calls for a total of 98 yards.

"It's not like [Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak] is game-planning me out or it's not like he's just sending me deep the whole time," Smith said. "I'm running other routes and I've been doing that since I've been here. Last year, I thrived on a lot of shorter routes and turned them into big plays. That's going to come soon. I'm not frustrated or mad at the coaches or anything. That stuff is going to come."

Kubiak has said recently that Smith is a big part of the team's plans on offense, and Head Coach John Harbaugh told reporters this week that a point of emphasis is to get some big plays for his speedy receiver.

"It is a focus to get Torrey going, and we're going to be working to do that," Harbaugh said. "I'm very confident we can get that done. [If] we get Torrey going, that's going to be a big plus for us."

Smith has proven his ability to bounce back from struggles. He opened his rookie season without a catch in back-to-back games, leading to early criticism about how he was a second-round bust. He then broke out for three touchdowns the next game.

Later that year, he dropped a game-winning pass against the Steelers, and then came back the very next play to make the catch for the victory.

He didn't get a second chance to make that final play against the Colts, and now he's looking for an opportunity to make up for it.

"It's my first time being in that situation and not making a play," he said. "It's something I can learn from and going to learn from, and I'll be better for it."

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