OWINGS MILLS - When Steve Smith arrived in Owings Mills to prepare for training camp he was greeted by an unpleasant surprise. The garage ceiling in the home he rents near the Ravens practice facility had collapsed, due to a leaking pipe. So instead of staying at home during training camp, Smith will be staying in a hotel.
“My garage ceiling was my garage floor, and it was water – a little baby stream coming out of my garage,” Smith said Monday at his Football ProCamp for kids at Owings Mills High School, sponsored by Northwestern Mutual.
“The only part I’m looking forward (in) camp, is the hotel. I had to shut off the water to the whole house for three hours. It’s going to be an interesting project going on in my garage. I’m kind of looking forward to the hotel life and the West coast life during the season, because they’re going to be doing some minor construction at my house.”
Smith was superb in is his first season with the Ravens (79 catches, 1,065 yards) after 13 seasons with the Panthers. Ravens coach John Harbaugh regularly gave Smith some days off during training camp last year, wanting to rest his legs. But Smith sometimes declined those days off, because he wanted to familiarize himself with the offense in his first season in Baltimore.
During this upcoming training camp, Smith, who is 36 years old, believes he will take more breaks.
“Obviously I’m a lot more comfortable, I feel more at home, less stress, less anxiety – how am I going to fit in,” Smith said. “I don’t wonder anymore, now I know how it is.”
However, don’t get the idea that Smith will be resting on his laurels. Asked if he anticipated playing the same number of snaps next season, Smith said. “I anticipate it. I anticipate playing more snaps and playing further into January.”
By then, Smith’s home repairs should be finished.