Early during the Ravens' 59-10 victory against the Miami Dolphins Sept. 8, all signs pointed to a potentially flawless game led by the tandem of quarterback Lamar Jackson and receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, but the Ravens did not come out of the game unscathed. Cornerback Jimmy Smith went down with a knee injury in the second quarter and is
expected to miss "multiple weeks."
Second-year cornerback Anthony Averett, whose role is now expected to expand, is confident he can fill the void left by Smith as the team looks to build off of a near-perfect start to the season. Averett has high expectations for the team as they head into Week 2 and beyond.
"I feel like definitely a Super Bowl, that's the main goal," Averett said of the team's expectations this year on
Glenn Clark Radio
Sept. 11. "I mean, you've got to aim for the highest point, and I feel like we have everything. The offense looks crazy explosive. We've always had the defense, the defense will be there. Special teams, everybody knows [head coach John] Harbaugh, he preaches about special teams. We play good football in all three phases. I mean, the sky is the limit."
Averett is looking to thrive in his expanded role and help the Ravens in their pursuit of a championship. Averett was thrown into the fire early against the Dolphins Sept. 8 and showed promise. He recorded four solo tackles and two pass defenses, holding his own as a cover corner.
The 5-foot-11, 178-pound Averett is expected to play alongside fellow corners Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr against the Arizona Cardinals Sept. 15. In addition to losing Smith, the Ravens also lost nickel back Tavon Young for the year during the preseason. With both out, Averett wants to show off the versatility coaches see in him.
"I'm fairly new at it, but I know I can play it and the coaches see that I can play it," Averett said of the nickel back spot. "I can play inside and outside, and I've got the speed to do it."
Averett, drafted out of Alabama in 2018, believes he's grown a lot since his rookie season thanks to watching and learning from veterans like linebacker Terrell Suggs and safety Eric Weddle, both of whom helped show him the ropes last year during his rookie season.
"It definitely helped me," Averett said. "... I got to watch them be a professional."
Suggs and Weddle are gone, but Averett now gets to work with free safety Earl Thomas, acquired as a free agent this offseason, in the defensive backfield. Thomas' presence was felt early in Miami; he intercepted quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the first quarter. While some believe Thomas is on the tail end of his career, Averett believes Thomas is still among the best defensive players in the game.
"He's a guy that can just ball hawk," Averett said. "I mean, with those guys it does not matter where they are on the field. They just find a way to get to the ball and make plays. He's a big play waiting to happen. So, I wasn't surprised when he got the pick. That's what he does. That's what he's been doing all these years. Future Hall of Famer, I can definitely see that."
Now comfortable in his second year with the Ravens, Averett said his teammates feel like "family." Though he may be taking on a greater burden with his new role, Averett views this Ravens squad as a team on the cusp looking to build off the successes of last season.
"We knew what we had and what we left off last year," Averett said. "We knew we have an even better chance this year with more experience. I feel like we have a great team, all the way around."
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox
To hear more from Averett, listen to the full interview here: