Third-year cornerback Jimmy Smith had a tough time checking Julio Jones last Thursday in Baltimore's 27-23 preseason win over the Falcons.
He also gave up a 17-yard reception to little-known receiver Kevin Cone down the left sideline. It was one of those games that didn't put Smith in a good light.
Following the game, Smith declined an interview request to reporters seeking comment from the former first round draft pick in 2011. Smith broke his silence Sunday, talking to the Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson about his performance.
"There's a lot to learn as a whole defense," Smith told The Sun. "I could be more aggressive. I know what you're getting at. Nobody on the outside knows what happens on the inside. There were some holes that need to be fixed, and we worked on them this week in practice."
"I'm way too honest. I don't want to say the wrong thing, but nothing is ever as simple as people think it is."
Smith might feel like he's being attacked unfairly from the outside, whether it was fans, reporters, bloggers or talk show hosts. But expectations do come with being a first-round pick, even when you're taken late in the first round.
Smith will continue to draw criticisms if that kind of play continues. Eventually, he won't be given the benefit of the doubt to deflect the blame anymore.
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