Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. asked Ray Lewis for permission to do patented dance

Ray Lewis gave permission to Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. to perform his iconic squirrel dance.

Not too long ago, when the Ravens introduced their defense for home games, you knew the last person out was going to be inside linebacker Ray Lewis and that he would perform his squirrel dance to Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.”

When the team introduced the offense before Thursday night’s game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium, it was wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. who entered to Nelly’s song and danced Lewis’ patented dance.

Afterward, Smith told reporters that he asked Lewis for permission to copy the routine.

“I have always seen this organization and the Baltimore Ravens,” Smith began. “You see the speeches. You see the rambunctiousness of the Steelers and Ravens rivalry. You see [former Ravens free safety] Ed [Reed] knocking out [former Steelers wide receiver] Hines [Ward]. You see Hines knocking out Ed. Then you see Ray’s little speeches and his dance.

"I am a Baltimore Raven. I am an emotional player. I was like, ‘Man if this is it, I want to try it.’ I talked to him, and then they said they would do the music. I was just being a kid. At the end of the day, we are all just kids. It was a great opportunity. I asked some people, and [Lewis] said, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘Cool.’ I was a little nervous so I went back and I was YouTubing to make sure I was doing it right. I almost chickened out. I was like, ‘No,’ then I did it, and it was pretty cool. I was just being a kid.”

Asked how he felt performing, Smith replied, “The music and all that stuff – I felt kind of like a rock star.”

Smith’s emotions spilled over into his post-game interview with The NFL Network crew where he fired a couple shots at NBC analyst and former New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, who questioned the wisdom of building an offense around a 37-year-old wideout.

“Some people have said, certain people that work for this [media] said that when this offense depends on a 37-year-old, it’s in trouble,” began Smith, who caught five passes for 60 yards and a touchdown in the 28-7 victory against Cleveland. “I look at a guy like that, he’s just upset that what I’m doing at 37, he couldn’t do at 31.”

A little later, Smith said, “He knows how hard it is to play this game. Then he’s gonna take it away, and say, ‘Well, if they depend on him at 37.’ I respect the heck out of Rodney Harrison, but don’t take digs at me 'cause I dig back and dig deeper. My shovel’s bigger than your shovel.”

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