Late for work 1/11: Ray Lewis: Roquan Smith is 'a great leader, built to play linebacker'

Late for work 1/11: Ray Lewis: Roquan Smith is ‘a great leader, built to play linebacker’

Experts React to Ravens Extending Smith

Here’s a look at what the pundits wrote about the Smith deal:

Stag: “There are obviously football teams and executives who don’t think it’s safe to pay linebackers a lot of money off the ball. The Ravens, however, have never been shy about investing in point guards. defensive and they see Smith in that mould. Inside linebacker is a glamorous position in Baltimore thanks to Ray Lewis, and Smith has proven to be one of the best in the league.”

Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus: “Putting positional value aside to assess the player in a vacuum, Smith and the Ravens have been a fantastic game since he arrived on trade deadline day. since joining the team, a mark that leads all Ravens defensemen this season. Not only that, but it’s the highest single-season mark by a Ravens linebacker since Ray Lewis in 2009.[period]”

Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Banner: “Smith’s role can now continue to evolve in a defense which, under [Defensive Coordinator Mike] Macdonald, tried new ways to maximize his athletic gifts. In his first eight games with the Bears this season, he was involved in the Chicago pass 24 times, or three times per game, according to PFF. In Baltimore, he rushed the passer 42 times, or 4.7 times per game. Smith’s extension also ensures his return to a dressing room that has embraced him as quickly as his new teammates. Smith needed little time in Baltimore to befriend [Patrick] Queen, learn the defensive playbook and earn a new affectionate nickname: “Uncle Ro”. “

Darin McCann of the Russell Street Report: “It’s strange for me to say that I’m thrilled to pay $20 million a year to an off-ball linebacker these days, but I am. Smith immediately had an impact on that defense, and that’s a easy assumption to make. he’s only going to get better next year and move forward after full offseasons with the team. There are times when you have to take a step back from position value and recognize pure impact. Smith improves defense. Whether it’s coming from the edge, out “on an island” in the corner, giving in to a middle pocket or just making plays all over the court, that’s value. Value of the team. Smith brings that.”

Chad Racine from the Russell Street Report: “Early reports last offseason claimed Roquan wanted 20 million a year. He got it, from a team that values ​​his play and leadership on and off the pitch. For an undervalued position in recent years the Ravens don’t give in to trends and make decisions for themselves Smith has transformed that defense and it’s money well spent He’s been the best linebacker since Ray Lewis and the Ravens got pretty smart not to let him go.[space]Eric DeCosta made the right call in my opinion.”

Dustin Cox from Baltimore Beatdown: “From the moment he steps onto a football pitch dressed in purple and black, Roquan Smith is one of those players who feels like he should have been a Raven his whole career. the uncompromising physical style of football that Baltimore has relished for the majority of the franchise’s existence. Smith sets the tone on defense and has helped lift the other players around him to new heights. Such a player is an element obvious basis for this organization.

Spencer Schultz from Baltimore Beatdown: “Roquan Smith is the epitome of Baltimore Raven. His durability, speed, physicality and intelligence or the main tenants of his game. Smith is an extremely capable cover linebacker who plays perfectly where the NFL has headed in response at RPO and centered on the spread pass a happy game, while defenses live in the world of two-tier security, the value of ‘spear’ defenders, or the backbone of a defense, is high. Smith is the epitome of a modern linebacker in that, at the same time, he has the athleticism, technique and raw strength to match five-star first-round running backs and silence their impact in the game of race.[add]

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