With more diligent preparation this offseason having lost 10 pounds after taking up a boxing regimen, the 2011 first-round draft pick has impressed the coaching staff with how seriously he's taking his job after a lackluster first two seasons. Smith is building on the momentum he started in the postseason.
There were numerous times over the past three days when Matt Elam had a running back or wide receiver in his sight and a great angle to deliver a punishing hit but all the Ravens¿ rookie safety could do was simulate a tackle and run right past the ball carrier.
In Terrell Suggs' first extensive comments to the Baltimore media since last season, Terrell Suggs carried significantly less weight and even less bravado. Subdued, understated and serious, Suggs — yes, Terrell Suggs — seemed honored just to have the opportunity to practice for nearly three hours on a hot day.
It's not exactly where the Ravens want to see one of their most accomplished defensive players. However, training camp is still about a month and a half away and Ravens head coach John Harbaugh believes that Ngata is "right where he needs to be."
The Ravens released fullback Vonta Leach and I understand the logic. The Ravens have been under the salary cap gun since winning the Super Bowl in February, and they will save approximately $3 million by cutting Leach.
As you come to grips to life without Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach, consider the following statement: Before this offseason, no NFL team had lost more than five Super Bowl starters from its roster before the following season.
Unable to reach a compromise after negotiations to try to restructure the contract of veteran fullback Vonta Leach, sources say the Ravens are expected to release or trade the Pro Bowl lead blocker as soon as Tuesday.
Two days after they were honored by President Barack Obama at the White House, the Super Bowl XLVII champion Ravens received their ultimate reward, collecting their championship rings at a private ceremony at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills on Friday.
Michael Huff and Matt Elam are expected to replace Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard on the Baltimore Ravens depth chart, but all indications are that they will be used differently than their predecessors. While neither has the Hall-of-Fame range of Reed, both seem capable of playing a free-safety-type role.
The 2012-13 Ravens will be well represented Wednesday when the team travels to the White House to be honored by President Barack Obama for its 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3.
A sizable chunk of the Ravens' salary cap is taken up by the bloated cap figures of Pro Bowl players such as Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata and costly cap hits for fellow franchise cornerstones such as Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. But the Ravens also rely on young players and cheaper veterans to round out their roster. Here is a list of seven of the best bargains on the Ravens.
A different kind of leadership structure might emerge with Lewis as well as veteran free safety Ed Reed no longer on the roster, one with several different voices, albeit in a less pronounced way than the past incarnations of the AFC North franchise.
Signs of change are everywhere at the Under Armour Performance Center these days, from the Lombardi Trophy that sits in a glass case in the lobby to the title-winning banners that hang in the indoor practice facility to the various new faces that occupy the locker room.
As the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Ravens had an extremely eventful offseason where they overhauled their roster and dealt with a tight salary-cap situation by making a series of tough decisions.
The Baltimore Ravens could have as many as seven or eight new starters on defense when the 2013 season begins. You can produce a number of statistics that suggest why they may have felt compelled to overhaul their defense. Here is a telling one: They whiffed on 87 tackles in 2012, according to Football Outsiders.
The NFL Network is revealing its list of the top 100 players in the 2012 season. But knowing how little thought some players give while filling out their ballots, I have a hard time taking that list seriously. The list that interested me more was the top 101 players of 2012 from the guys over at Pro Football Focus.
Despite the loss Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, fourth-round pick John Simon won't need to become a leader for the Ravens right away. But it's clear the Ravens wanted to draft high-character players, and based on Urban Meyer's praise of Simon, it sounds like he fits the bill.
Five NFL analysts chimed in on the Baltimore Ravens' draft class, and the consensus is they did a good job with a 10-player class that includes Florida safety Matt Elam and Kansas State inside linebacker Arthur Brown.
Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome always talks about taking the best player available, but the early picks in this year's NFL draft have fit perfectly into the blueprint that he laid out during the team's postseason news conference in early February.
Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said it wasn't a very hard decision. Florida safety Matt Elam was the best player available when the Ravens made the final pick of Thursday night's first round of the NFL draft and they were thrilled to get him.