Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith is 'ahead of schedule'


OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith is still recovering from foot surgery and is supposed to wear a red jersey to warn teammates to steer clear of him.

The problem is Smith has the special jersey tucked into the band of his shorts during Thursday's organized team activity.

"I think that tells you where his mind is at," coach John Harbaugh said.

Smith didn't participate in full team drills, but he showed aggressiveness when he was on the field for seven-on-sevens. He timed a throw to Kamar Aiken and nearly wrestled the ball away from the wide receiver.

It's not the type of physical play you'd expect from a cornerback who was being limited in OTAs after missing the final eight games of the regular season. Harbaugh had been noncommittal this offseason when asked about Smith's return, and Smith declined to say when he would be fully recovered after signing his four-year, $48 million extension in April.

"I saw a little competitive streak today," Harbaugh said. "I tried to remind him that he's got the red jersey. He won't put it on."

By the way Smith was moving, it looks like he is on track for the start of training cam at the end of July. That's good news for a secondary that allowed the fewest touchdown passes in the NFL last season when Smith was in the starting lineup (seven TD passes allowed in eight games).

"He's not full speed but he's out there working hard," Harbaugh said. "He is probably ahead of schedule."

Perhaps the bigger surprise for the secondary was seeing safety Terrence Brooks on the field. The Ravens expected Brooks to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament on Dec. 14, and that still could happen.

Brooks, a third-round pick from a year ago, didn't practice but he wore a helmet and didn't show any signs of a limp when moving at jogging the length of the field. He could provide more depth to the safety position and special teams sooner than expected.

"Terrence Brooks is doing really well," Harbaugh said. "No predictions right now. But he looks good. He's worked hard."