The Ravens are hoping for more of the same from Steve L Smith in 2015. In fact, they aren’t just hoping – they’re counting on it.
In one sense, that’s a bit of a dice roll. As ESPN’s Jamison Hensley pointed out Monday, the last 36-year-old NFL receiver to surpass 1,000 yards in a season was Joey Galloway in 2007. It’s only happened five times in league history. There does seem to be a ceiling of sorts for receivers his age.
But if anyone is going to become the next guy to do it, it’s probably Smith. Last season, he made more receptions for Baltimore at age 35 than he did for Carolina at age 30 in 2009. He caught 41 passes in the first half of the season and 38 in the second half, so he didn’t wear down. His eight playoff catches included one for a touchdown against Darrelle Revis.
Now the issue becomes how to get the same production from him in 2015. It’s crucial to the Ravens’ prospects, given the relative inexperience of their other receivers.
Smith was the #20 WR in standard formats and #18 in PPR, but he did most of his damage in the first six weeks of the season when he was the #3 and #4 overall receiver, respectively. He was a fantasy WR4 the rest of the way, though he did have his moments. The Ravens can’t afford to put Smith out to pasture because they let Torrey Smith walk in free agency and the team’s receiver corps is severely lacking experience. Smith has some upside given his ADP (8th/9th round) and the arrival of pass-happy OC Marc Trestman, who should be able to figure out how to best utilize Smith’s skill set.
Aug 13, 2014 · 2:34 PM EDT
Free agent receivers like Joey Galloway and Chad Johnson/Ochocinco have fizzled out in New England, but one of the problems has been their inability to get a firm grasp of the offense and get on the same page with Patriots QB Tom Brady.
Brandon LaFell appeared headed for a similar fate in the early stages of the offseason workout program, but the forecast is looking better now. If things continue trending in this direction, LaFell could find himself to be an integral part of the Patriots' offense, in the red zone or otherwise.
Aaron Dobson is back and if he can stay healthy, he has the inside track to start opposite Julian Edelman. LaFell is in the mix as well.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in recent weeks have spoken highly of veteran wide receiver Joey Galloway despite his lack of statistical production.
Their praise, however, has rung hollow with many fans and media partly because they almost never publicly critique players and because Galloway’s scant production—only nine catches on 32 targets this season—belies their positive evaluations of his play.
Mike Shanahan’s actions speak the loudest in these cases, and we might have learned his true feelings during Monday night’s 59-28 loss to Philadelphia.
Roydell Williams replaced Galloway as the Redskins’ third receiver after a pass intended for Galloway was intercepted with 5:08 remaining the second quarter. Williams played 24 snaps the rest of the game; Galloway played only one.