Troy Smith: Too Good To Sit The Bench

Kyle StrittholtCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2009

When I saw Troy Smith drafted in the fifth round by the Baltimore Ravens my jaw dropped. I thought how can a player with so many skills and assets be pushed back with the quarterbacks that I’ve never even heard of getting chosen before him?

Following Smith his entire senior year at Ohio State I saw a player that knew how to play the game of football. He knew how to lead his team down the field when they needed it the most.

As a quarterback he went from running first maybe passing it, to a guy that wanted to throw it and only ran it if nothing was open.

There was no doubt in my mind that Smith deserved the Heisman Trophy and despite his performance in the National Championship, he deserved a chance to start somewhere.

The big named quarterbacks that were picked in front of him were Jamarcus Russell and Brady Quinn who both have done nothing for their teams, and I look at those teams and I think how much better they would be with Smith.

In the games that Smith has played he hasn’t put up stats like he did in college, but he has been able to lead his team down the field and put points on the board.

As a rookie he was able to get the attention of the veterans and in return they responded to him. He was 1-1 as a starter, but he beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that the Steelers never came close to winning.

If it were not for his setback last preseason I think that Smith would have started for the Ravens all last season, and there is no doubt in my mind that they could have had the same result as last season.

If the Ravens used Smith more in the AFC Championship game I think that they would have been in the Super Bowl instead of the Steelers because he would have added something new to the mix.

Last night Smith played two quarters in the preseason game against the Redskins and he played a great game. In his limited time on the field Smith went 14-30 passing and threw for a huge 200 yards. He threw for a touchdown and a big stat is that he did not run the ball.

When you look at his completions it may be misleading because there were a lot of dropped passes and Smith has been unfortunate to deal with that in Baltimore. But he had no interceptions on the night and his single touchdown could have beaten the Redskins, who did not score at all last night.

I don’t think this enough for the Ravens to sit Flacco and let Smith start, but they should definitely give Smith more time. I look for Smith to get a lot more playing time as preseason rolls along, and if Smith can prove that he is too good to sit the bench then he will find the field more often.

I don’t think that the Ravens will be able to keep Smith after his contract is up because he is completely able to start for someone. He needs to continue to play well despite mistakes from the second team offense and he will get his chance soon.