Baltimore Ravens

Steve Smith, Joe Flacco looking to build chemistry and timing

When veteran wide receiver Steve Smith played for the Carolina Panthers, his quarterbacks ran the gamut from Jake Delhomme to Cam Newton.

Now, the five-time Pro Bowl selection is trying to build chemistry and timing with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.


It's a time of adjustment for Smith, a 13-year veteran who signed a three-year, $11 million contrasct in March that included a $3.5 million signing bonus.

"It's a work in progress for me," Smith said last week during organized team activities. "I'm new and there's a new system. It's a lot to get into, so I'm trying to run my routes as best I can without thinking too much, but still also get familiar with the positioning and the timing that [offensive coordinator Gary] Kubiak wants, and then get on the same page with Joe as well. So we're both learning the system and learning each other."


The Ravens are continuing OTAs this week at their facility in Owings Mills.

Smith, 35, says he likes what he's seen from Flacco thus far.

"I've been admirer of him, even just watching him in college at Delaware and then coming into the draft," he said. "You know, as a wide receiver you always kind of look at the quarterbacks in the draft every year to see which guys [have potential] and what they say about whom. One thing about him that I noticed, just coming out of college, how I evaluate a quarterback – is if he's on the other hash and you run a comeback, where's your ball placement?

"Is the ball hitting the guy at the ankles, or is he hitting him in the chest? Far a hash, 20-yard comeback, it's pretty close. The number is high, so that's always a good telltale sign of a good quarterback. ... He throws a lot of good, easy balls that you can snag. It makes it look good, so I like those."

Smith caught 64 passes for 745 yards and four touchdowns during his final season with the Panthers. He has 857 career receptions for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns.