Ray Lewis speaks from heart during acceptance ceremony
EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens, the morning after they dismantled the Texans, 30-9.
Two-minute topic: Will Ravens LB Daryl Smith finally get the respect his career is due?
Smith has never made a Pro Bowl, despite being the Jaguars’ all-time leading tackler. He spent his previous nine seasons playing in Jacksonville, never getting much national publicity, and often playing for losing teams.
Things have changed for Smith since joining the Ravens this offseason. He’s still making plays. But now he’s getting attention. His 37-yard interception return for a touchdown sparked the Ravens to victory Sunday.
Afterward, there was Smith at the post-game podium, fielding questions, describing the turnover in detail. Smith’s teammates loved seeing Smith in the spotlight. They know how good he is. They know how hard he works.
“He’s on the jugs machine every day, catching balls,’’ said Ravens safety James Ihedigbo. “It wasn’t a surprise to me that he caught that pick and took it for six. He’s been working at his craft. You follow a guy like that.”
Smith said he anticipated what Texans quarterback Matt Schaub would do from studying him.
“Just something we’ve seen on film through the week,” Smith said. “He was getting rid of the ball pretty quick. I knew I had a chance to jump it. We got pressure on that play, and I jumped the route.”
Playing with the Ravens has raised Smith’s profile. He has been a standout player for many seasons. Now more people are taking notice.
Morning thought: “They’ve played two weeks now where they haven’t given up a touchdown. That’s pretty good. You’re going to have a tough time losing when that happens.”
Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco on the Ravens’ defense.