Jimmy Smith Has to Back Up Matt Elam's Talk with Performance

By Jermaine Lockett
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Only one game left on the weekend and for all of Charm City, it’s the only one that matters.  The Baltimore Ravens march on to Ford Field looking to keep their playoff aspirations alive, as they face-off against the Detroit Lions.  With that said, they are about to face the best receiver in football. Thanks to our loud mouth rookie Matt Elam, Calvin Johnson has plenty of motivation to go “ham” on our defense.  Will Jimmy Smith step up and answer to Matt Elam’s dumb statement?

This is about as dumb of a move as when Tyrann Mathieu, according to bleacherreport.com, had the nerve to say he could deliver against Calvin Johnson, prior to even entering the NFL.  First of all, both Mathieu and Elam are midgets compared to the massive Megatron.  Secondly, both of these guys would hardly ever hold Johnson due to their positions being strictly safety.  Additionally, Elam hasn’t had an interception all season, so he has no room to say anything about anything until he gets his hands on some leather.

We all know John Harbaugh did not approve of the comments from the rookie safety out of Florida, but how does Jimmy Smith feel knowing he has to go back up his teammate’s mouth?  Smith’s last meeting with Johnson was quite embarrassing, as Johnson finessed him on an 18-yard ballet-like TD catch in the 2012 preseason.  Johnson had five receptions for 111 yards before being benched at the half against the Ravens’ secondary.

From the looks of it, Jimmy Smith has improved since then, shutting down large receivers.  His most recent showing of talent came against the Chicago Bears when he held Brandon Marshall to only four catches for 42 yards receiving on the day.  Earlier in the year, Smith held Andre Johnson to only 36 yards receiving.  This speaks to the aggressiveness he has now been encouraged to use on receivers.  I have clowned Dean Pees in the past for his schemes and how he needed to be fired, but I have to admit, Smith’s progression is tied to Pees and his impressive secondary coaching.

Having said that, Smith is facing his biggest challenge of the season.  If he can contain Johnson Monday night in front of the world, the entire league will look at him in a whole new light; they will compare him to Darrelle Revis. As a result, Smith will also have backed up his poor-spoken teammate’s reckless trash-talk.  Look for Johnson to be vacationing on the newly established “Smith Island.”   Let’s just hope that Smith limits the ball visiting his island.

Jermaine Lockett is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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