Jimmy Smith finished the 2015 season with 54 tackles (48 solo), three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) and a sack in 16 games.
Smith bounced back from Lisfranc surgery to start all 16 games, albeit with mixed results. He did play better toward the end of the season, and his contract ensures that he'll be back in Baltimore as the starting right cornerback in 2016. Smith has mostly been an effective cover corner throughout his career, but he's never been much of an IDP option.
"He has worked hard as far as the injury front this year," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of Smith. "He is getting closer and closer to being 100 percent. He's not there, yet, but nobody has worked harder than he has. He has been here every day since the season was over, so it probably starts that way in terms of leading by example."
The Ravens signed Smith to a four-year extension in the offseason and Harbaugh cited Smith's work ethic for his improved health.
"He has done it by working hard," Harbaugh said. "He has done it by honing his craft and becoming the very best corner he can be. I love the way he pays attention to detail, but he has also done it by overcoming adversity."
Smith was limited in practice on Thursday but was able to get some work done.
Smith is expected to be close to full strength for training camp in August. He signed a new deal worth $41.1 million over four years this offseason.
Smith was entering the final year of his current contract with Baltimore. He totaled 28 tackles with one interception in eight games last season. In his first four season, Smith has played just one full year, playing 47 of a possible 64 games. He's totaled 140 tackles with five interceptions in those seasons.
"I have no doubt in my mind that I'll be back ready to go," Smith said. "Every day I grow a lot. Every day I feel good about the progress."
Smith has been able to walk without pain and recently increased his physical activities, but he admits the rehab process has been grueling.
"In the beginning, it was rough because of how much it hurt," Smith said. "When you get off [the boot], you have to rebuild all of those muscles and tendons, and everything is popping in there. It hurts."
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