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Smith relies on his instincts

WESTMINSTER -- Mike Smith has adopted a relatively simplistic approach to football. Whenever the Baltimore Ravens' rugged backup middle linebacker is in doubt, he hits someone. In the case of Friday's preseason opener against the New York Giants, Smith's instincts took over as he ran with the starting defense for the first time because middle linebacker Ray Lewis was given the night off.

In the second quarter, Smith penetrated the line of scrimmage and slammed Giants running back James Sims for a seven-yard loss. Despite clearly being held, Smith decked Sims a moment after he got the handoff. The football popped out and hit the ground, but the runner had already been ruled down by contact. "I read the offense well," Smith said. "It was one of those nights where I got into a...

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