Torrey Smith was as surprised as anybody.
He reported to the Under Armour Performance Center on Jan. 27 for a workout, like it was any other offseason day. However, it wasn’t long before he ran into head coach John Harbaugh and learned the news.
“Harbaugh saw me and was like, ‘Hey come here, I want you to meet our new coordinator.’ I was like, ‘alright,’” Smith said. “I walk in and there’s Coach Kubiak. I was excited, just knowing what he’s done in the past and his credibility in the league. I’m looking forward to learning from him.”
Smith spoke to reporters on Tuesday at Dickey Hill Elementary/Middle School, where he dedicated a literary oasis for students.
The hiring of Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator figures to be one of several changes that the Ravens make this offseason on the offensive side of the ball. General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Harbaugh have been open about their desire to add more targets for quarterback Joe Flacco, who struggled mightily last season, throwing a franchise-record 22 interceptions.
The former Maryland standout said that he’d welcome another receiver to join a group that is currently in transition beyond Smith and Marlon Brown, a revelation in his rookie season with seven touchdowns. Jacoby Jones could leave as an unrestricted free agent and it’s not certain that the Ravens will tender a contract offer to restricted free agent Tandon Doss.
The other four receivers on the Ravens’ roster - Deonte Thompson, Kamar Aiken, Gerrard Sheppard (Towson) and Aaron Mellette – are all unproven options.
“The more, the merrier,” said Smith when asked about the possibility of the Ravens adding another receiver. “The more help you can have no matter what position it is, it’s only going to make us stronger as a unit. Whatever we bring in, whether it’s free agency or a rookie, we’ll welcome him in with open arms.”
Smith led the Ravens in 2013 with 65 catches for 1,128 yards to go along with four touchdowns. He is considered one of the NFL’s better deep threats. However, what the Ravens lack is a receiver capable of working underneath and filling some of the void left by Anquan Boldin’s departure before last season.
Asked specifically what piece does the offense lack, Smith said, “I don’t want to say an Anquan, but just a guy that’s like a move-the-chains guy. That’s probably someone that we need on a consistent basis. Another weapon like that is just another person that Joe can rely on.”
Smith, however, is only worrying about what he can control, and helping the Ravens get back to the playoffs after they missed the postseason for the first time since 2007.
“It’s tough to lose anything,” he said. “Now, I know what it’s like to be at the highs and I know what it’s like to be at the lows. It’s going to happen. I don’t want it to happen. We still were in position to get that playoff spot but we didn’t finish. We know what we need to do to take it to the next level and we’re looking forward to getting back there.”