Ground Game Them into Dust

Let me say this right now. The Ravens 3rd round pick of RB Musa Smith out of Georgia was absolute grand larceny. The Ravens nabbed a guy who would have been a first round pick a year early and the running game has significantly been upgraded because of this. Smith was one of the top three backs in the entire 2003 NFL draft beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The Musa Smith pick was one that automatically told me that the Ravens intend to play smash-mouth football this year and don't want anything to stand in their way. Having two bruising backs, it's no secret what the opposition has to look forward to facing on Sundays for a long, long time. Here's a link to a great article written about him courtesy of Draft


This was an excellent pick. All this guy did was score the game-winning TD run for the Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl which was the biggest game they've had in quite a while. He also had eight 100yd games and his speed is severely underrated. He hits the hole with authority and like my man WestsideOzzie likes to say 'pounds muthaf@#kas' that gets in his way. And just for the record for those who say he's slow, Smith runs a 4.47 40 time which is the average between his two runs at his ‘Pro' Day of 4.45/40 & 4.50/40.


Some say that he was injury-prone which I don't necessarily agree with. If you were playing the level of competition that he went against with an O-line that was constantly in a state of flux like theirs was, it'd be hard for you to not get nicked up as well.


It's not like he tore his ACL or anything this past season; his biggest injury was merely a broken thumb and he still when on to rush for 1,324yds and 8 Td's which shows that he'll play through pain. Smith reminds me a lot of RB Corey Dillon as far as running styles go more so than Jamal Lewis. Smith isn't the fastest, but he also isn't as slow as some people would lead you to believe.


He's faster than he looks when he's on the field and it's not easy to take him down. And besides everyone knows that the real reason Musa left was because the Bulldogs were losing all five O-linemen and their fullback this year as well. They weren't all that good to begin with besides Foster, and they were the starters.


I'm sure that the nightmares of having to face off against top talent with no proven blockers ahead of him played a significant role in his decision-making process. But trust and believe that if he had his blockers for one more season he'd have stayed and would have been guaranteed a high first round pick if he would have remained injury-free.


So in that respect the Ravens got a steal because next season there was a pretty good chance that he'd have been a first round pick. That's good scouting, and that's why our F.O. is one of the best in the business.


Musa Smith is the underrated prospect. He is very athletic, shifty, powerful and quick. He was voted MVP of the Sugar Bowl this past year. He ran for the game winning score on his way to a 23-carry, 145-yard day. He rushed for over 100-yards in eight of his 13 starts and averaged over 100-yards per game.


His 5.3 YPC average this year was instrumental in the team's success. His instincts are great and his cut back ability for a large RB is phenomenal. And because some wannabe draftnik read somewhere that Musa Smith has been nicked up here and there suddenly he's too injury-prone to get the job done. Hogwash!


Smith showed this past season that even when dealing with an injury that he could be counted on. He will come through for his team and be the guy who wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. He's a winner, and I'm so glad that Ozzie and company are on our side.


The combination of Musa Smith and Jamal Lewis will be a devastating one as Smith will serve to keep Jamal fresh throughout the game which will lend towards even bigger plays against worn-out defenses in the 4th quarter. Having a comparable player to ‘spell' your RB is a luxury that few have but most should.


The pounding that a top back takes over the course of a season is tremendous. Having a guy like Musa Smith, who has the ability to be a feature back by himself, can only help the Ravens in their power-running, two TE schemes they're sure to implement this upcoming season.


Lewis and Smith may prove to be as good of a combination as Lewis and Holmes were during the Ravens Super Bowl run in 2000. That proved that having a stable of capable backs is an immeasurable asset, as I'm sure the Ravens will agree. Look for great things from this combo in the upcoming season and kudos to the Ravens F.O. yet again for targeting and acquiring only the best and the brightest for our team.


Just my opinion.-Pro-

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