The Baltimore Ravens got a blessing when Steve Smith fell in their lap in 2014. His first year with the Ravens he looked like the old Smith that played for the Carolina Panthers as he caught 79 passes for 1065 yards and six touchdowns.
But, that was all we would see of the future Hall of Fame player.
Smith has not retired but if you look at his production after the 2014 season, you might as well say he has. Now, to be fair, Smith is not a spring chicken. At 37 years old he’s till trying his best to get up and down the field against younger and faster defensive players but that is not the issue for his decline. Health is one, but the lack of an offense for the Ravens is the other.[embedit snippet=”2″]
In 2015 Smith, due to an injury, Smith played in only seven games and this season eight so far. While the drop in games will obviously effect any players stats, this goes deeper than games played. Injuries happen all the time in the NFL and Smith is no exception but he is a burner, a player that goes for the deep ball. In order for Smith to hit his mark, he must have a QB that has the tools to get the ball where it needs to be at the right time. Joe Flacco is good, but he’s not Steve Smith good.
The Ravens have had 1000 yard receivers since Flacco has arrived but what team does not? It’s not part of their offense to go over the top and for a player with Smith’s resume, he took one on the chin when he signed with Baltimore. Could you image the damage he could have done in Atlanta, Dallas or even if had stayed in Carolina?
Smith’s career is not over but he missed his chance to move up the receiving ranks when he hitched what was the end of a stellar career to Flacco and the Ravens.