Torrey Smith Shows His Complete Game


In the Ravens' third preseason game last year, then-rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith dropped a pair of passes that left fans and pundits questioning whether the second-round pick would pan out.

In this season's third preseason game versus the Jaguars, Smith showed he's come a long, long way in a year.

Despite a nagging ankle injury that forced him momentarily to the bench, Smith logged eight catches for 103 yards. And he did it with a wide variety of catches.

"I think he's on the way to becoming a complete receiver," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He'll probably tell you that that's a long way off. It's probably closer than he would admit."

Once known only for being a deep speedster, Smith is now showing he's also was a versatile weapon by frequently getting open for quarterback Joe Flacco. Smith was targeted a team-high 11 times Thursday night.

The Maryland product caught a 17-yard drag underneath, which he turned into bigger gains by sprinting away from defenders. He caught curls when he found space underneath a cornerback playing far off to respect his speed. He hauled in sideline throws after making crisp cuts.

"It's kind of tough on [defenders] having to respect going deep and underneath routes," Smith said.

Smith can still get open deep too. He did so twice, but Flacco's passes were just a bit too far. Had they hit the mark, Smith may have had a bigger night.

"I love it," Flacco said. "Torrey is a great kid, so it's awesome to see him turn into the football player he has become. He is a guy that, last year, did so much for us just because he can flat-out run. This year, and even last year as the season progressed, he is just becoming the complete receiver."

Smith limped to the bench after making a 16-yard catch along the sideline near the end of the first quarter.

As soon as Smith reached the sideline, Harbaugh told him his night was done.

"Done?" Smith said. "I'm all right. I just need to walk it off real quick."

Smith has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury for the past two weeks. It forced him out of the home preseason opener last week and sent him to the bench near the end of the first quarter against Jacksonville.

The second-year wide receiver wasn't about to let it slow him down again. After missing four plays, Smith returned and promptly caught an 8-yard pass on the next play.

"Nothing stands between him and getting better," Harbaugh said. "He's just always been that way."

Smith has talked this preseason about being more consistent.

Smith almost had one leaping grab along the sideline before the ball hit the turf Thursday night against Jacksonville. But he hasn't had an issue with his hands throughout training camp.

"He's the kind of guy that just comes to work every single day," Harbaugh said. "I think he sets a great tempo along with Anquan [Boldin] for our wide receiver group and our offense. … I'm pretty biased towards Torrey Smith because he's just what you're looking for."

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