Daryl Smith played for the Jacksonville Jaguars for nine years, where he was surprisingly never selected to a Pro-Bowl, and never got too much attention. Smith missed almost the entire 2012 season with a groin injury, but this year he is looking much better.
Daryl Smith has shown his potential so far in training camp with the Baltimore Ravens, and he is working his way up to become a starter. Smith formerly played OLB, but is learning to play the ILB position with the Ravens, where he will most likely start.
"I think he has a ways to go with learning the system," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "But the good thing about him is he's a great professional. He's great in the classroom, and I don't see why he shouldn't be able to move forward for us. [Daryl Smith] is a very intelligent player. You can tell he's a veteran. He plays smooth. He's got heavy hands. He's a tough guy. I really love his personality; fits right in with our room. We've been very pleased so far."
Dean Pees isn't the only guy that's high on Smith. Here is what linebackers coach Ted Monachino had to say about Smith.
"He is explosive, strong, fast, and extremely football intelligent," Monachino said. "I think Daryl looks great. He's ahead of the game-- a lot like a linebacker we had here for a long time."
Ted Monachino was referring to Ray Lewis when he talked about the linebacker Daryl Smith was like. Just imagine the Ravens having a mini-Ray Lewis on the 2013 team; now that would be special.
Monachino and Pees aren't the only two that had good things to say about Smith. Coach John Harbaugh also had to say a few words.
"Daryl Smith's signing was just a great move by Ozzie and his guys. That was a big move."
Daryl Smith is getting a lot of hype from his coaches, which is not bad at all. John Harbaugh is a very blunt and honest guy; he speaks the truth. I think that he really is impressed with Smith by the things he said about him.
Daryl Smith is 31 years-old and his prime is most likely behind him, but that doesn't mean he still can't benefit our defense to a certain extent. Look at Ray Lewis in last year's postseason. Lewis was way out of his prime, in his seventeenth season, and he was still leading our team and destroying opposing offenses.
Smith has had 537 total tackles, 21.5 sacks, 36 passes defensed, and 6 interceptions over his 9 year-career as a Jaguar. Hopefully Smith can bring some of these numbers to the Ravens' defense. If Smith wants to be a starter on this team, he will have to continue to work hard and put up numbers in games.
I know I am not the only one excited about the signing of Smith, which occurred over a month ago, but we should all be even more excited after reading this, since he is getting praise from all over the Ravens' coaching staff.
IF YOU'RE INTERESTED...
Daryl Smith's 2011 Highlights are here.