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Unsung Hero: Daryl Smith

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A PFF and personal view of the ILB

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

While Raven Nation has clammored and praised the Rookie of the Year snub (i'm bitter) C.J. Mosley, his teammate and counter part Daryl Smith had an even better overall year according to Profootballfocus.com. While the numbers don't look the same as C.J. put up better numbers, Daryl was a big help.

Daryl Smith in coverage is exactly what Baltimore needed. His ability and speed may be on the downhill as the age progresses, but the knowledge of where to be is still there, and Smith shows up when needed.

Through the course of 18 games this season Daryl Smith played 96.8% of all defensive snaps. With so many possible plays Daryl managed an overall of 14.9. Daryl Smith ranked seventh for inside linebackers. Ranking above Rolando McClain, C.J. Mosley, and Brandon Spikes. Daryl Smith is less than five points from overtaking Mychal Kendricks and Bobby Wagner for 5th overall.

The numbers for the previous season for Daryl Smith are as follows:

  • 1 sack
  • 4 QB hits
  • 9 QB hurries
  • 1 batted pass
  • 106 Tackles
  • 53 Defensive stops [The number of solo defensive tackles made which constitute an offensive failure (including sacks)]

Daryl Smith's best PFF weeks happened back to back on weeks 7 & 8. His highest grade during the 2014-15 season being a +4.4 was against the Atlanta Falcons. Game summary of 1 QB Hit and 10 tackles. Of those ten tackles six were counted as offensive failures. Daryl locked it down. Next week against the Bengals #51 hit eleven tackles equaling 4 defensive stops. Smith was not allowing anything in his part of the field, clearly.

While I can read back the numbers for you, it's not really getting things across. Daryl Smith is the signal caller for the Baltimore Ravens. This is the second signal caller in Raven history as Ray Lewis had been the man since the birth of the Ravens franchise. Smith's duty is to read against all opposing offenses, and call specific defenses against the scheme. Smith is a vital part of the Ravens franchise mentoring our soon-to-be-star C.J. Mosley. Without Smith we have not true coverage linebackers on the roster, and playing against pass attack Steelers and Bengals we'd be toast.

Besides playing amazing football, Smith took a pay-cut to stay with the Baltimore Ravens. Taking a 4 year deal worth 13.6 million. I believe he actually enjoyed playing for Harbaugh and the Ravens, because after the one year contract, the Titans and Broncos were rumored to sign the coverage linebacker, and I know the Titans could offer much more. We lucked ourselves into the next best thing as Smith enjoys being a great player, good mentor, and smart on-field signal-caller.