Jimmy Smith got off to a slow start as a rookie, getting hurt in his first game and missing time before returning to the lineup. He struggled at times for a few weeks before playing much better in the second half of 2011.
The Ravens are hoping that the 2012 becomes somewhat of a repeat of that.
Smith's struggled at times this year but continued to improve recently. He played better in Sunday's win in Cleveland, and the Ravens need his help in the second half of the season as he's stepping in for the injured Lardarius Webb, out for the year with a knee injury.
Coach John Harbaugh talked with the media on Monday on how he likes what he's seeing from Smith and hopes that the second-year cornerback can keep getting better and help the secondary, which struggled throughout the first half of the season.
Harbaugh also understands Smith and what he's going through since he dealt with it himself in younger days.
"Jimmy Smith can be a difference-maker as the season goes on," Harbaugh said Monday. "He made plays yesterday, he’s physical, and he’s another guy that’s only going to get better the more he plays. He didn’t play that much last year, and he’s starting to play more regularly now. So, you talk about Cary [Williams] … Jimmy is another guy, to use the term loosely … I’m an old corner; if you can even call it that. But I love those guys. Those guys are on the island, man. It’s a tough position to play; they’re always scrutinized. And we have two very good corners.”
Now, it will be interesting to see what Smith can do in the second half of the season. He made more plays last year in the second half, and it would help the Ravens if Smith could do that again.