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Smith making name for himself on Ravens defense

Wednesday - 9/25/2013, 3:37pm  ET

Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Daryl Smith runs an interception back for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

AP Sports Writer

OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Just like the player he replaced, Daryl Smith is the focal point of the Baltimore Ravens defense.

Smith was signed during the offseason to take over at middle linebacker for 13-time Pro Bowl star Ray Lewis, who retired after the 2012 season.

Smith shuns any comparisons between him and his predecessor, but his play in his first season with Baltimore has been, well, Lewis-like. The former Jacksonville Jaguars star leads the Ravens in tackles, has the team's lone interception along with 1½ sacks.

Since arriving in Baltimore, the 31-year-old Smith has also seen his family grow. His wife gave birth to a daughter on Monday, less than 24 hours after Smith returned an interception for a score in a 30-9 rout of Houston.

Baltimore plays at Buffalo on Sunday.

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