Ravens second-year linebacker Za’Darius Smith has a great comeback for coach John Harbaugh, who says he needs 10 sacks from Smith next season.
“I’ve told him, ‘Coach, when I get 10 sacks the first half of the year, what am I going to do the rest of the year?’’’ Smith said during a telephone interview.
Smith loves to laugh, but he was serious talking about his visit to Capitol Hill on Thursday. Smith joined about 30 NFL players who visited Congress for the “Team Tackle” initiative, to draw attention to diabetes research and treatment. Smith’s mother, Sharon, was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago, and the Ravens’ second-year linebacker is committed to helping those dealing with the disease.
“When my mom got diagnosed with diabetes, I was in college and really didn’t get a chance to help her with everything she needed, “Smith said. “My agent called me and told me about this program, and I was all the way with it. I wanted to help. The cause means a lot to me and my family. I’ve taken life more seriously and my health more seriously.”
Those interested in more information on diabetes can visit diabetes.org on the web.
As for football, Smith said he was in great shape, committed to building on his strong play at the end of last season. Smith had 3 ½ of his 5 ½ sacks over the final three games.
Smith knows the Ravens may draft a pass rusher, but he plans on taking his game to another level next season. He envisions himself, a healthy Terrell Suggs, and Elvis Dumervil leading a disruptive pass rush.
“I think we’re going to be good this year,” said Smith. “I’ve already been up in Baltimore for a month. I can’t wait to get started. Coach and Ozzie (Newsome) are going to do a good job bringing in guys for the defense. How I finished the season is how I’m going to start.”
Sounds like Smith plans to give Harbaugh those 10 sacks he is looking for.
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