EARLY BIRD: Keeping Torrey Smith involved

EARLY BIRD: Keeping Torrey Smith involved
October 14, 2013, 7:00 am

Ravens need to figure out the run game

EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens, the day after their first home loss of the season.

Two-minute topic: How will Torrey Smith respond to being shut down for the first time this season?

After having at least 85 yards receiving in each of the first five games, Smith was held to one catch and 12 yards by the Packers. Give the Packers credit. Cornerback Sam Shields was excellent in coverage, and the Packers rolled at least one safety toward Smith on most plays, determined not to let the Ravens’ best receiver get off.

“They kept their safeties wide,” said Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. “They stayed in cloud coverage, and if anything, they might have done that more times than we anticipated.”

Smith has been seeing double-coverage all season, and it will not stop, especially if the Ravens do not prove they can move the ball effectively going elsewhere. Tandon Doss (four catches, 99 yards), Dallas Clark (four catches, 81 yards) and Marlon Brown (three catches, 71 yards) all had big plays in the second half. But the Ravens were shutout in the first half Sunday during a 19-17 loss to the Packers, and Smith’s lone catch did not come until the third quarter.

Smith is having a terrific season, but Sunday he was contained. His goal, and the Ravens’ goal this week, will be to figure out how to get Smith back on track for Sunday’s game against the Steelers.

Morning thought: “We’ve got to start faster. We’ve got to all be on the same page and execute. Our run game will go; we have everyone that will give us the ability to run it well, we’ve just got to show up on game day and execute,” Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe.

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