Smith, McPhee shining early for Ravens

Posted Oct. 23, 2011 @ 2:16 a.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

A pair of Ravens rookies have particularly impressed during Baltimore's strong start. On defense, DE Pernell McPhee has made a big contribution as a pass rusher, notching a pair of sacks in his first five games. Head coach John Harbaugh, noting McPhee's explosiveness, said the fifth-round pick from Mississippi State, who has primarily played on passing downs, could continue to push for more playing time. On offense, WR Torrey Smith has been a capable replacement for Lee Evans, who's been hampered by an ankle injury. Smith's rare speed alone can make him a tough cover for some cornerbacks, but QB Joe Flacco, speaking to Baltimore reporters leading up to Week Seven, said that Smith's route running has improved, too. Smith is likely to have a role in the passing game even when Evans returns, which will only bolster a passing game that's already shown it can stretch the field.