Flacco: Time To Trust Young WRs

With Evans possibly taking a seat, the Ravens will look to T. Smith, Doss, Williams.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink, Week 3 at Rams

Torrey Smith has shown his speed. Tandon Doss has shown his sticky hands. LaQuan Williams has shown his leaping ability.

The Ravens’ rookie wide receivers trio has impressed – in practice and the preseason.

Now it’s a matter of converting that to the game, which could happen this Sunday in St. Louis.

With wide receiver Lee Evans possibly taking a seat for Sunday’s game in St. Louis and with David Reed out due to a shoulder injury, the Ravens may get an early look at their young talent.

Are they ready, and is quarterback Joe Flacco ready to throw to them?

“They’re there. They’ve been there,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in those guys. It’s always a question of how guys are going to transfer practice to the game. But, they’ve been practicing well, they make plays out here, so we expect them to do it in games.”

Flacco said Wednesday that you can’t truly build trust between a quarterback and his receivers until you see how they react in games and pressure situations.

While Williams has been limited mostly to special teams and Doss has been inactive for the first two games, Smith has been running routes but has yet to record a catch. He’s been targeted with one pass.

It’s a case of Flacco not getting that far on his progression reads, Harbaugh and Smith said.

Now Smith, Doss and Williams will be higher up the pecking order, and Flacco may have to rely on them in St. Louis.

“We’re going to have to have confidence in it and have trust in them,” Flacco said. “I think these guys are good football players. But the bottom line is we are going to have to and go out there and trust it.

“That’s my job – to trust these guys. Whoever we put on the field, they are ready and capable NFL football players. I have all the trust in the world in those guys.”

Smith said earlier this week that he has relaxed since dropping a pair of passes in the preseason and admitted he was pressing. He could be called on to open the Ravens’ deep attack. Evans said he has especially seen Smith grow and grasp the offense since he’s been in Baltimore.

Doss has been quietly preparing in practice, where he said he’s been bouncing between the first and second teams. He was rock solid in the preseason with seven grabs for 72 yards.

The reason why Doss wasn’t active, he said, was because of special teams. It wasn’t that he hadn’t proven himself as a wideout.

“There’s that third receiver spot, and hopefully I get that job,” Doss said. “Right now I’m just trying to learn as much as possible like I’ve been doing and make plays when my name’s called. Hopefully my time comes soon.”

Williams, the only undrafted free agent kept on the active roster, has been almost exclusively a blocker and coverage man on special teams, stepping in the shoes of departed Marcus Smith.

Now Williams may get a shot to show what he put on display in preseason games, when he notched four catches for 84 yards, including grabs of 38 and 20 yards.

“I know I’m capable of making those plays,” Williams said. “That’s what we’re here for. When somebody goes down we have to step up and do the job.”

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