Sep 11, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) looks on prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to Lunchtime Links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption. Today we discuss why the Jimmy Smith injury is devastating for the Ravens, Dennis Pitta is months away from a prognosis, Dean Pees tips his pitches, Crockett Gillmore impressed John Harbaugh, and the Raven’s o-line is the best in football.
"Of all the Baltimore Ravens defensive players, the last one they could afford to lose to injury is cornerback Jimmy Smith.He is the best player at the Ravens’ weakest position. He is the only defensive back on the team who could be counted upon to consistently limit receivers. He is having the best season of any Ravens cornerback since Chris McAlister eight years ago."
"At the midway point of this season, it’s time to take stock of the Ravens’ linemen, and despite a pair of significant injuries, they remain the best line in football.Sunday was no exception as the regulars all returned to play against the Bengals and provided ATS on 20 of 35 drop backs. The only sack came on a protracted play where the pocket held up well. With the exception of a pair of goal-line plays, the run blocking was also successful.Included here are the grading charts for the first 8 games. I had some minor corrections that came from discussions with PFF, but most notably, I had charged Jeremy Zuttah with the week-1 holding call that is now correctly assigned to Monroe."
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"We’ve seen this same story unfold before between the Bengals and the Ravens. When the Ravens blitz, they declare too soon, and quarterback Andy Dalton is able to make an adjustment at the line well before the snap.On the long 53-yard completion to Mohamed Sanu that led to a game-winning drive for the Bengals, Dalton identified Darian Stewart as the blitzer and slid his protection to account for him before the snap.The frustrating part about these plays are that once the Baltimore defenders declare the blitz, and Dalton clearly makes a protection change, there is no counter move. The defenders come as advertised and are routinely picked up."
"If there was a positive out of veteran tight end Owen Daniels missing Sunday’s game while recovering from a minor procedure on his knee, it was that rookie Crockett Gillmore got valuable experience in a a tough divisional match-up.Gillmore, the raw tight end out of Colorado State participated in 52 (19 pass, 25 run block, 8 pass block) of the offense’s 67 snaps (per the metrics website Pro Football Focus).The 6-6, 260-pound Gillmore responded with two catches for 23 yards including a 13-yard catch on second down to move the chains early in the first quarter.On Monday, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh showed confidence in his rookie after he made his first NFL start."