By Joe PlataniaCSNBaltimore.comPressBoxOnline.com
RAVENS PAGE RAVENS VIDEO
When former Ravens backup quarterback Troy Smith starts for the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday against the Denver Broncos at Londons Wembley Stadium, he will be the first former Ravens quarterback to start an NFL game on two different continents.
Smith would probably say, incredible," a word he used a lot during media sessions when he was with Baltimore, who drafted him with a compensatory pick in the fifth round of the 2007 selection meeting the year after he won the Heisman Trophy at Ohio State.
With the troubles the highly-touted 'Niners have had despite being the trendy pick to win the NFC West Division this year, its unlikely Smith would need a Big Ben play in the city where the namesake clock is located. However, another unlikely series of events derailed his career just when it seemed ready to take off.
Smith was close to becoming the Ravens starter in 2008 before an infection and blood clot started in his throat and spread to his lungs before the usually-pivotal third preseason game.
Smith was 1-1 as a starter for a troubled 2007 Ravens team, losing badly at Seattle before winning a meaningless home game over Pittsburgh and breaking a club-record nine-game losing streak.
In the loss at Seattle, Smith avoided a shutout loss late in the fourth quarter with a 79-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Mason. The following week, Smith found Devard Darling with a 15-yard touchdown pass as the Ravens beat the Steelers, 27-21.
Wideout Demetrius Williams, another Ravens draftee who struggled to stay healthy during the teams transition from head coaches Brian Billick to John Harbaugh, signed with Cleveland earlier this week after tryouts in Washington and Minnesota, among other locales.
Williams biggest play as a Raven was a 77-yard touchdown catch from Kyle Boller against the Browns in a 2006 game where Steve McNair was forced to leave after six plays when Browns linebacker Andra Davis stepped on his hand.
The biggest irony of Williams signing with the Browns is it came at the expense of 2007 Ravens third-rounder Yamon Figurs, the first player Baltimore selected after taking Ben Grubbs. Figurs had played in Detroit and Oakland since getting released by the Ravens.
Former Baltimore defensive tackle Atiyyah Ellison, who has played for Baltimore, Jacksonville and San Francisco in his career, was released by the Kansas City Chiefs.
For more Ravens news, check out Joe Platania's Ravens Report at PressBoxOnline.com.