Overthinking Affecting Smith’s Play

The rookie wide receiver dropped two passes Thursday versus the Redskins.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Friday, August 26th, 2011 at 10:31 am | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Preseason 3 vs Redskins, Ryan Mink

Quarterback Joe Flacco had a piece advice for rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith after Thursday’s game.

Relax.

Smith entered his third preseason contest with one reception for two yards. He then dropped two catchable first-down passes in the first half against the Redskins.

“Torrey just has to go out there and play – use his abilities,” Flacco said. “Got to make a move, run by guys, use his hands, go out there and play confidently and use his ability to make the moves.

“I think he has a tendency to overthink things.”

The second-round draft pick dropped a third-down slant pass on the Ravens’ first drive. At the end of the half, the offense was trying to mount a last-minute charge, but Smith had a pass on the sideline bounce off his mitts.

Smith had an end-around for a seven-yard loss and a reception for a six-yard gain as well.

“They were two plays I should have made,” Smith said. “It’s frustrating. If anything, I’ve been kind of pressing. I’ve been a playmaker, that hasn’t changed. But I haven’t been able to make an impact, so I’ve been pressing the issue instead of letting it come to me. Once I sit back and relax, I’ll be fine.”

Smith was drafted by the Ravens in the second round and drew plenty of buzz for his playmaking potential. Adding to the fervor was the fact that Smith immediately stepped in opposite Anquan Boldin at practice after Baltimore released veteran Derrick Mason.

“It’s me knowing they drafted me high for a reason,” Smith said. “They believe in me and I believe in myself as well.”

Smith also said playing in front of the hometown fans had played into his thoughts. He recorded 67 receptions for 1,055 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior at Maryland before declaring for the draft early. He’s still just 22 years old.

“I performed well in front of these same people before,” Smith said. “People know how I played at Maryland and want me to play the same way here – and I want to play the same way here. It’s just frustrating. I’ve got to let it come to me instead of pressing the issue and I’ll get back into it.”

Smith went without a reception in his first preseason game, and took blame for a Tyrod Taylor interception when he didn’t fight through traffic. He caught one pass for two yards before getting crunched in his second NFL game.

“He always comes up to me and tells me he wants to do the right thing,” Flacco said. “Sometimes when you go out there on Sundays, you just have to let it go and play. If you go out there and make some mistakes, you make mistakes. … He’s just going to have to learn that.”

Smith said he does feel that he’s improved a great deal over the course of the preseason. He said he understands his assignments and has been getting open.

He has flashed great speed, leaping ability and hands in practice, where he has made some very difficult receptions.

“I’ve just got to finish,” Smith said. “That’s the thing I’m normally the best at.

“But I think this might be, as far as this game and how things have been going, maybe the best thing that’s happened for me, sports-wise. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to dogfight out as far as my play goes. I’ve got to bounce back, and I’m looking forward to that challenge.”

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