On NFL Network, Smith elaborated on the changes the team has made less than two months after winning the Super Bowl.
“[W]hen I first came in they cut [tight end] Todd Heap, [receiver] Derrick Mason, [running back] Willis McGahee — three great players,” Smith said. “We ended up in the AFC Championship with me playing as a rookie, [cornerback] Jimmy Smith playing a lot as a rookie. It was a bunch of guys they plugged in. It has happened before and we bounced back fine. It’s weird having been there, having seen it and built these relationships, it is completely different, but you just have to trust them. They don’t know make moves without having a plan. It is starting to play out for everyone to see.”
Smith isn’t worried about the fact that he now has been bumped to the top of the depth chart. “It doesn’t change for me,” Smith said. “Obviously Anquan is gone, he was like a brother to me, obviously a great mentor. Him gone is going to be tough. My job doesn’t change. My job is to catch the ball and when it is a running play, go out there and block I don’t feel like I am taking on any more of a load. Just going to go out there and play my game.”
To the extent that the changes trace to quarterback Joe Flacco’s monster contract, Smith isn’t ready to distribute blame to the guy who distributes the football. “All you see is that one person got paid, you don’t know how it works or how the money is spread out,” Smith said. “All you know is that he has been paid so you just assume all these guys who have been let go is because of Joe which is unfair to Joe. That is not the case at all. He has a very salary-cap friendly deal, at least for this year. So it was clearly a move by the guys on top. More than anything you have to trust in Ozzie.”
It’s the smart thing for Smith to do, in part because it’s the only thing he or anyone else on the team can do.