Oct 6, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive back Will Hill (25) against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New York Giants 36-21. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
Welcome to Lunchtime Links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption. Today we have a Ravens vs. Falcons preview, Will Hill looking good in his first practice, Jimmy Smith might be having a Pro Bowl caliber season, Justin Forsett proves his worth, and Terrence Cody is lucky to have a roster spot.
"Veteran safety Will Hill moved around the Ravens’ practice field Wednesday, determined to make up for lost time after serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.After not practicing since the preseason because of his league-mandated punishment, Hill was running around fast enough during his first practice of the regular season that teammates urged him to slow down.“Yeah, I had a lot of energy out there,” Hill told The Baltimore Sun. “Everybody was like, ‘Yo, man, slow down.’ I can’t. I only got one speed right now.”"
"Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith is playing the best football of his career, clearly the team’s best cornerback. In fact, profootballfocus.com has graded Smith as one of the league’s top corners, with quarterbacks having just a 50.5 passer rating when throwing in Smith’s direction. Smith has not been beaten for a touchdown, nor has he allowed a pass longer than 24 yards.What does Smith think about the accolades? He keeps it in perspective. Smith was the Ravens’ first-round pick in 2011, but injuries hindered his development during his first two seasons. At that point, Smith was being labeled a bust. Now that he’s being called a budding star, Smith is staying humble.“I would be lying if I didn’t smirk when I hear some of it,” Smith said of the praise. “Honestly, I really try my hardest to keep my head down. I don’t want too much to hit me. I don’t want people to put me in the spotlight, just because at any moment (if) I have a bad game, the world turns on me. I just try to keep focused, take each game by itself.”"
"Bernard Pierce is back healthy, but Justin Forsett remains the lead dog.There’s been chatter around Baltimore as to who the Ravens’ top running back is in their strong rushing game. On Sunday in Tampa Bay, Forsett took another step in proving he’s the guy.Forsett and the now healthy Pierce split the carries – Forsett got 14 and Pierce had 15. But Forsett took his for 111 yards (7.9 yard average), and Pierce totaled 32 yards (2.1 average) and a touchdown on his attempts.Forsett got his fourth straight start, and kick-started the Ravens offense with a 52-yard jaunt on their second play of the game."
"Isn’t it funny how many thought the Falcons got the best quarterback in the 2008 draft when they selected Matt Ryan over Joe Flacco?"
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"But whether it’s their head-to-head match-ups, playoff resumes or performances last week, I consider Flacco to be the better player. For those who discount the “postseason wins” argument, that’s foolish. How can you dismiss the difference between a 9-4 postseason record (Flacco) and a 1-4 postseason record (Ryan)?These two have more in common besides their draft class. They were born 42 miles apart, they played their college football on the east coast, they’ve each played 100 NFL games, and have each completed at least 60 percent of their 3,300-plus career attempts. Beyond that, Flacco has played better in a tougher division with less talent."
"It took a season but Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil appears to have hit his stride in Dean Pees’ defense and opposing quarterbacks are on notice.Adjustments have been made both on the field and off the field for the Ravens sack leader who has five through the first six games of the season.“Yes, most definitely. I think more than anything, it’s just kind of life off the field is more settled here,” Dumervil told reporters following practice on Wednesday."