When the Ravens decided to bring wide receiver Steve Smith on board following his release in Carolina, they were expecting to get an experienced, intense player who would be a leader on their offense in the 2014 season.
The early reviews from Ravens camp are that the team got exactly what they wanted. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees says that Smith has been “everything advertised” and that he’s cautioned defensive players not to make Smith mad because he’s more effective when his dander is up. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak also praised Smith’s competitiveness and the way he pushes teammates during practice.
“Boy, I watched him today, and I’ll tell you it was his best day with me out here,” Kubiak said, via the Baltimore Sun. “It’s just because each day he’s getting more comfortable with what we’re doing. He’s just so competitive. He brings an edge to practice all the time. He challenges people as far as how you play, how you go about doing things.”
The condition of Smith’s knees is reason for some concern about how effective he will be on the field this season, but that appears to be the only concern in place regarding whether or not the Ravens acquired the Smith of old.