OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens coach John Harbaugh was thrilled when the team acquired Roquan Smith.
Smith isn’t just a game wrecker, he helps the players around him perform at an even higher level.
“I think good players and great players make everyone around them better; would you be okay with that?” Harbaugh asked. “We have a number of guys on our defense doing that, and you add another guy like that into the mix. He’s a very good player, everyone knows that. What a great job he did to come in and learn defense so quickly.
“He had no problem there, in terms of what to do. Then all of a sudden he’s stealing, and he’s making a few plays, and other guys are feeding off of that a bit and your defense is much better.”
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Smith almost immediately made his presence felt in his debut for the Ravens in Week 9 against New Orleans. Early in the first quarter, Smith beat Saints running back Alvin Kamara on back-to-back plays, including no wins on a 3rd-and-one.
That helped set the tone for the Ravens defense which kept Kamara just 30 yards on the ground – his lowest production of the season – in the 27-13 victory.
Smith finished with five tackles.
Baltimore held New Orleans to 3 of 11 (27%) on third down and a season-low 13 first down total.
“When you have a guy playing well, it has an exponential effect on everyone,” Harbaugh said. “So that’s kind of how it goes. I was looking forward to seeing what we looked like with Roquan there, and I’m pretty excited about what it looked like.”