It was safe to surmise this morning that when Browns cornerback Joe Haden said “the Ravens aren’t the Ravens of old,” that word would get around.
And even though it’s hard to argue at some level, the Ravens were careful to file it away from motivation.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, Ravens right tackle Michael Oher said players got an e-mail this morning with Haden’s comments.
“Everybody saw it,” Oher said. “I trust in the guys upstairs. We’ve got great guys upstairs. If you’re in this organization as a player, you’re a great player and we’re here for a reason. I’m looking for great things in the future for this team the next nine weeks.”
To be fair, Haden wasn’t so much taunting the team that had beaten his 11 straight meetings, so much as noting the extreme difference in personality, as the Ravens turned over a lot of old guys who were central to that streak.
“I mean, I think it’s safe to say,” wide receiver Torrey Smith said of Haden’s remark. “It’s not the same team. It’s not like I’m going to take anything to him. We’re still built the same, but it’s not the same guys. That’s just fact to it.
“It’s not like we’re going to take it like, ‘He said this, they’re not the same team,’ because anybody can go out there and get beat any week. At the same time, we play the way we’re capable of playing, we’re still the Ravens and we’ll get to that point and other teams will know it.”
Of course, the reality is that the game could be largely decided by the sides of the ball that Haden and Smith don’t play for, as it has in the past.
Jason Campbell will be the sixth quarterback to start for the Browns during the 11-game streak, while the Ravens have had Joe Flacco throughout.
Smith talked about their need to close games out, and many other things, with Florio on PFT Live yesterday.