He was a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for Ohio State University, and were it not for an untimely illness, Troy Smith may have been the Baltimore Ravens’ starting quarterback last season.
Now? He may be the NFL’s next Slashback, an athlete classically trained at quarterback, but naturally gifted enough to do almost anything else on the field.
In the Ravens’ “expanded role” camp, players get reps at positions they would likely not play in game situations, but may step into in the case of injury or trick plays. Naturally, Smith’s athletic prowess allows him to line up at damn-near-anywhere, but mostly as a receiver.
So is Smith Kordell Stewart 2.0? Absolutely.
It is a perfect NFL role for him, whether he wants to embrace it or not. His height is an impediment to becoming a legitimate starter, but his speed and throwing ability make him a more-than-solid back-up or trick play artist. And unlike Stewart, playoff hopes do not rest squarely on his ability to make plays in and out of the pocket.
He hasn’t made a name for himself as the town douche and has quietly accepted the royal flush dealt to Joe Flacco by fate. If he can’t beat out Flacco for the starting gig, then he should embrace the opportunity to Wildcat his way onto another squad, or to carve a special niche on the roster and in the hearts of Ravens faithful.