New Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith caught just 64 passes for 745 yards and four touchdowns last season, but statements of his demise are pretty exaggerated. Smith was used more as a decoy by the Carolina Panthers last season, as the Panthers sought to make the offense more vanilla for Cam Newton. Instead of trying to live off of big plays, the Panthers decided to take a more controlled, efficient approach that led to less mistakes. The Panthers spread the ball around more often in the passing game, and Smith was used to draw coverage away from others more than anything else. As we saw in his game against Aqib Talib, Smith still had the ability to beat top corners when asked to.
The Ravens could have a dynamic passing attack next season with an improved offensive line, a healthy Dennis Pitta, and the additions of Owen Daniels and Steve Smith. With Torrey Smith as the No. 1 receiver, the “Smiths” WR duo could be an incredibly explosive tandem for strong-armed QB Joe Flacco, who is a prime bounce-back candidate.
According to the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, Smith has already made a huge impression on the Ravens on the first day of training camp, as he’s made “several long catches”. The touchdown Wilson notes was a 70-yard TD catch in which Smith beat out top corner Lardarius Webb, and that’s no easy feat. Smitty was known for his big training camps during his time with the Panthers, and the former franchise icon looks poised for a strong, bounce-back season in Baltimore.