Ravens star wide receiver Torrey Smith smiled as he opened up a shoe box Friday afternoon in the locker room, breaking out a shiny new pair of football cleats.
"I always wear a new pair," the former Maryland standout said. "Well, most of the time."
Just like his new footwear, Smith is eager to take the Ravens' revamped offense for a spin Sunday during a season-opener against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium.
Following an offseason where the Ravens hired new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and installed his version of the West Coast offense, Smith is eager to see how an overhauled group will come together during the regular season.
"I'm just glad to be back at it," Smith said. "Time is flying. We've been working hard this whole offseason. It's time to be rewarded and see where we are."
Since the end of last season, besides hiring Kubiak, the Ravens have:
* Retained tight end Dennis Pitta with a five-year, $32 million contract
* Re-signed left offensive tackle Eugene Monroe with a five-year, $37.5 million deal
* Signed five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith to a three-year, $11 million deal
* Traded for new starting center Jeremy Zuttah from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
* Named Rick Wagner the new starting right tackle.
* Had Kelechi Osemele successfully recover from back surgery to resume playing left guard.
* Cut Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach and replaced him with versatile former Harvard standout Kyle Juszczyk.
Now, the Ravens are about to break out their new offense against a Bengals defense that ranked third in total defense last season and is headlined by Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
"I think that it's going to be a tough challenge," said Smith, who has 21 career receptions for 328 yards and two touchdowns in six career games against the Bengals. "The good thing is we know them and they know us well, but it's a brand new scheme on our end. It's going to be a great challenge, and football is back."
The Ravens' offense didn't fare well against the Bengals last season, scoring 37 points in two games as they split the series and quarterback Joe Flacco threw five interceptions and three touchdowns with an average quarterback rating of 54.9.
"They have a great defense over there," Smith said. "We've missed a lot of opportunities at times. It's like any other team. You're going to have your shots. You have to be able to make the plays when they're there.
"We've missed out, and I guess that's a credit to them because they tend to make us miss out. There have been some easy ones we've missed out on as well."