FORT BELVOIR, VA. -- Steve Smith signed a three-year, $11.5 million deal with the Ravens about three weeks ago, but the task of acclimating himself to a new organization will accelerate tomorrow morning.
Smith is planning to drive to the Ravens’ Owings Mills training facility, get in a workout, meet up with more of his new teammates and then get his locker situated.
“I’m making sure that even though this is a transition to me, I will not be behind,” said Smith who spoke Thursday night during a break from a football camp that he’s hosting for 100 children of active duty military at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. “I will bring … what I’ve learned over the years of being a professional – be prepared and be ready. That may take some extra work on my end but I’m willing to do that.”
Smith, who turns 35 next month, played 13 seasons with the Carolina Panthers before he was released on March 13. He signed with the Ravens the following day after a visit to the Under Armour Performance Center.
Since signing, Smith said he’s spoken to quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and wide receivers Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown. He was excited to learn a few minutes earlier that the Ravens had also signed tight end Owen Daniels, giving Flacco another weapon in the passing game.
Smith is coming off a season in which he fininished with 64 catches for 745 yards and four touchdowns, numbers that dropped from the previous two years.
He has made it clear that he’s coming to Baltimore to be a complementary piece.
“To get 1,000 yards, I don’t think it’s impossible,” Smith said. “But for me to get 1,000 yards, Torrey to get 1,000 yards and Ray Rice to get 1,000 yards and maybe Jacoby and whatever wide receivers, I think it’s doable. Obviously with [Dennis] Pitta, I say why not all of us? Be the 1,000-yard club back when they used to have those clubs.
"I’m excited, I’m happy and I’m ready to play, and I’m ready to be an asset to this team and bring whatever they expect from me. Whatever that expectation is, honestly, my job and my mindset is to exceed that.”
Smith was also asked about how long it will take to get in a comfort zone with his new quarterback.
“You never get uncomfortable catching dimes,” he said. “Every so often, he may throw off his back foot or kind of get hit, it may come off a little awkward. You know what my job is? To make [a play]. That’s the way I take it.”