In what could be his final game as a Raven, Troy Smith didn't do much tonight to force the coaching staff and front office personnel to keep him on the team.
The Ravens' third-string quarterback, who is battling for a spot on the 53-man roster, had a shaky outing in tonight's preseason finale against the Rams, going 18-of-38 for 237 yards and two interceptions. Smith did, however, also led the team with 56 rushing yards on seven carries, and he provided the only offensive scores on the night by running for two touchdowns.
"Troy competed out there," head coach John Harbaugh told reporters after the game. "I thought he made some plays. I'm sure there are a few plays he'd want back, but I thought he competed, and he showed why he's the kind of guy he is. He gets after it. You're never out of it when Troy's in there, and I was proud of him."
Smith and the offense had trouble moving the ball out of the gate, and they only had four first downs and 84 total yards in the first half.
Things improved a bit in the second half, as the fourth-year quarterback led the offense on scoring drives of 70 and 80 yards, but all-in-all, it was not a stellar performance from Smith.
To be fair to the former Heisman Trophy winner, he was playing behind an offensive line that featured star-caliber talent the likes of Ramon Harewood, Joe Reitz, Bryan Mattison, Stefan Rodgers and Devin Tyler.
That group has a combined total of zero - count 'em, zero - games of NFL regular season experience.
With an incredibly inexperienced group in front of him, Smith was running for his life on more than a few occasions tonight, and he had to peel himself up off the turf after a handful of big hits.
"I think it is hard," Harbaugh acknowledged, when asked about Smith playing behind such an unproven line. "I think what happens is sometimes, you have more time than you think, because you don't always consistently have time, and Troy knows he can make plays with his feet, so sometimes he relies on that.
"He'll look at the tape and say 'I could've hung in and there and thrown it here,' but other times he couldn't. So I think it was tough circumstances."
When it boils down to it, Smith's performance tonight didn't show the Ravens' coaches anything that they didn't already know.
Smith has decent arm strength, is an average pocket passer, and while he has speed and possesses the ability to make plays with his legs, sometimes he takes off too early, and fails to properly go through his progressions.
Was tonight enough to get Smith on the Ravens' 53-man roster when they already have two quality quarterbacks in front of him on the depth chart? We'll have to see.