Scouting Report: Troy Smith's start against Minnesota
3 for 5 for 25 yards
and 1 int. passing in the first half was not the entire story.
By Bill Smith
Smith got the start on Saturday night against the Vikes and had most of the
1st string to work with.
While the line was still missing the top 2 LT's the rest of the line was
the “expected” starters. Smith had the
rookie 2nd round steal Ray Rice as the RB. The starting TE Todd Heap was also AOL.
are one of the most difficult teams to run on because of their outstanding
front 7. On Smith's second play, he
changed the call at the line when he saw a run blitz. The play broke for 42 yards and put the ball
on the Vikes 25. Two plays later when
the D realized that the Ravens were focusing on the run, he faked to Rice and
ran a naked bootleg. He picked up 10
yards down to the 5. He was only
prevented from scoring by a great open field tackle by fellow ex-Buckeye Winfield. 2 plays later, Rice scored to tie the game at
On the second
possession, Smith put a screen pass right on time in the hands of Rice for an 8
yard gain. His next pass was on a third
and 13 situation. He put the ball where
only his receiver could catch it but a big hit by the Vikes S Griffin prevented
the catch and the first down. When the
OC called the next pass, the Vikes D line got into the backfield at the same
time as the ball got to Smith. But
rather than getting sacked or throwing the ball away, he ducked away from a
tackle and ran for 18 yards and a first down.
His next pass was on a 3rd and 21 yards to gain. The Vikes put in 74 cornerbacks to prevent
anything deep. Smith took the quick
slant and picked up 10 but the Ravens had to punt.
possession of the quarter started with only 1:40 left on the clock. On 1st and 10 FROM THE 40. His first pass was another quick slant. The OC had gone to that pattern once too
often. It was well covered and the pass
was slightly behind the receiver. It got
picked and returned deep into Raven's territory. In an attempt to make a tackle, Smith
compounded his error by trying to roll block a defender. The personal fowl called on Smith put the
ball at the 10.
Ravens D could not get off the field.
The Vikes converted 11 of 19 3rd down attempts for a 57%
success rate. That is far too high. The Vikes held the ball and scored on every
possession in the first half.
got to throw the ball 5 times in the half.
Granted, some times he was pressured and ran out of the pocket to avoid
a sack. He was also sacked twice. The two things that really hurt his cause to
start were the interception which was an inaccurate pass and the fact that he
had to call 2 timeouts because the team was not lined up properly. The Ravens were trying to feature the run
with their second string RB and third string LT against the best run defense in
the league last year. Not a good
offensive game plan.
Smith did fairly well. He ran 3 times
for 35 net yards and setup one TD. In
the first half, Smith scored 13 scouting points for a B- grade.
Bill Smith is a
former coach of several semi-pro teams and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for http://BrutusReport.com. He has
also published several novels on http://ebooks-library.com/index.cfm and edits http://fryingpanpolitics.blog.com