Jimmy Smith gets another crack at it

Jimmy Smith gets another crack at it
November 2, 2012, 7:15 pm
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All eyes again will be on cornerback Jimmy Smith, especially those of Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden who reached 300 yards passing in the first meeting between the AFC North foes in Week 4.

Smith, who started his first game of the season two weeks ago to mixed reviews from Ravens coach John Harbaugh, gets another chance to prove himself Sunday.

The second-year player proved vulnerable to double-moves as he was beaten badly by Kevin Walter of the Houston Texans in a 30-point loss going into the Ravens' bye week.

That's something Smith has to remedy with Browns receiving corp that's emerging behind unheralded rookie Josh Morgan, who surely will test Smith's discipline.

“The biggest thing here is what affects you is usually your eyes. What happens is on the double move you take your eyes off of the receiver and take them back to the quarterback, and it’s at that point in time when the guy gives you the double move," Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said as he explained a glaring weakness in Smith's coverage. "You have to spot the drive for on the up-field shoulder of the receiver. If you drive for that spot -- I used to tell guys that when I coached the secondary –-- the only way I’m looking back to the quarterback now is through the ear hole of the receiver. So, if I’m looking through his ear hole, I can see him, and I can see the quarterback. … It’s eye discipline.”

The Ravens need Smith to perform in place of Lardarius Webb, who went out with a season-ending knee ligament tear Oct. 14. Weeden threw for 320 yards with Webb in the lineup for the Browns' 23-16 loss in Baltimore.

"We're coming off a big loss. In order to put ourselves where we want to be, we have to win this game," Smith said.

He spent the Ravens' bye week looking in the mirror.

"In the bye week your focus is rest. I took that time to look at what I was doing personally. I wasn't too much focusing on anybody else," Smith said. "I studied my techniques and what the other teams might be seeing. Critiquing myself. I don't grade myself.

"I've been playing OK. I gave up some plays, but who hasn't?

When Smith played at Colorado he faced Weeden, who is in his rookie season, when the signal-caller was at Oklahoma State.

Even though Smith didn't start for the first meeting with the Browns, he played against Weeden then, too.

"He can get the ball downfield. I think he's a pretty good quarterback," Smith said.

If he gives up another big play, Smith won't sweat it too much. The other starting cornerback for the Ravens, Cary Williams, had a rough start to the season as he was targeted successfully by Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

But Williams got his first interception of his career against Weeden, a 63-yard return for a touchdown, that proved to be the winning margin for Baltimore.

"That's just how it is. Certain positions in the league, corner, quarterback are two positions that can make or break games with one play," Smith said. "We have so much responsibility.

"If you're doing your job no one cares. But if you get beat one time everybody in the world thinks you're the worst. It's just part of the job."