San Francisco 49ers

49ers notes: Harbaugh says Torrey Smith will have deep impact on offense

Torrey Smith’s former coach, John Harbaugh, said the wide receiver will make an impact even on plays on which he isn’t targeted
Torrey Smith’s former coach, John Harbaugh, said the wide receiver will make an impact even on plays on which he isn’t targeted AP

PHOENIX -- Ravens coach John Harbaugh said new 49ers receiver Torrey Smith will have an impact on the offense even when he isn't getting the ball.

"He's a deep threat at all times," Harbaugh said at a breakfast for AFC coaches on Tuesday. "He's very fast, he's big. He can go up and make a play on the ball, so much so that teams interfere with him more than anybody in the league to keep him from making those plays. So he's definitely going to be a guy who opens things up for those underneath guys."

Smith, 26, caught 213 passes, scored 30 touchdowns and averaged 16.9 yards a reception in four years with Baltimore. Last year that average dropped to 15.7 yards a catch, but he also scored 11 touchdowns.

Harbaugh said one of the most significant improvements in Smith's game is that he went from a pure speed receiver into a more polished route runner.

"He can run comebacks and stop-9s and in-breaking routes off of that deep vertical stem," he said. "He can get open that way, too."

The 49ers signed Smith to a five-year, $40 million deal earlier this month.


New Bills coach Rex Ryan has been blunt about his team's plan to field a run-heavy offense this season, and he said bringing in ex-49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman was the first step in that approach.

"I think his resume speaks for itself," Ryan said. "You go to three championship games in a row, obviously a Super Bowl as well. That's not a bad little run there. If anything we put our priority into getting him... In my opinion, we built an all-star staff here that's going to work great together, and I think it started with the hiring of Greg Roman."


Both the Ravens and Steelers have petitioned the league to play back-to-back games on the west coast this season. The Ravens will visit the 49ers and Raiders while the Steelers will take trips to both San Diego and Seattle. Both teams obviously would prefer to stay out west between the contests.

Teams can make up to five requests to the league's schedule makers, although they aren't always granted. The 49ers, meanwhile, will visit Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh and may want to spend the week between two of those games in Youngstown, Ohio, where they stayed during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.


Asked where things stand between the Dolphins and 49ers free-agent wide receiver Michael Crabtree, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said, "I really don't have anything to say about that." Crabtree met with the Dolphins on Wednesday. They are the only team Crabtree is known to have visited.

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at