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Fighting back tears, Steve Smith Sr. vows to prove doubters wrong

Fighting back tears, Steve Smith Sr. vows to prove doubters wrong

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. fought back tears Thursday as he talked about why he decided to return, instead of retire, after rupturing his Achilles last season.

It was obvious that Smith remains driven to play football, passionate about playing for the Ravens, and determined to silence those who doubt he can still be an elite player at 37 years old.

“I really came back, not to set any records, (but) because this organization gave me an opportunity,” Smith said. “When I got hurt, I felt like I let those guys down in the locker room. So for me to come back and play, it just showed them that I am dependable.

“And it showed you jack—es that at 37 years old, I can still play. I’m sick of y’all, ‘How can you depend on a 37-year-old to play this game after a ruptured Achilles?’ We’ll see. I rehabbed for nine months while y’all were sitting around twiddling your thumbs. I intend to lay everything out.”

Smith stopped short of saying that 2016 would definitely be his last season, but his contract expires after the season. His main focus is on enjoying the year, and playing every game like it’s his last.

“I’m not in this business to make friends,” Smith said. “If you’re not in the same jersey as me, I’m going to rip you to shreds. Bottom line.

“We’re going to have fun and smile. I’ll probably smile more in these last couple of months than I have in my whole career. I’ll still be hated in every city. I still enjoy that.

“Contractually, this is my last year. I’m just going to play ball.”

Smith admitted that several times during rehab he wondered if he would make it back to the field.

“Probably about two or three times where I really felt like, ‘Man I’m done with this,”’ Smith said. “You’re going to see guys more and more, in the offseason I believe, retiring. To work out to look good on the beach is easy. To run and play football at a high level, physically fit? Man, that’s a requirement I think a lot of people don’t understand. Once you get older, your body does not respond the way it used to.”

But Smith still responds to doubters as strongly as ever. So regardless of what Smith does in 2016, it’s clear he intends to give everything he has left.

RELATED: WHICH BALTIMORE PLAYERS ARE ON THE ROSTER BUBBLE?

 

 

  

 

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Baltimore Ravens' 2018 regular season matchups, dates and times

Baltimore Ravens' 2018 regular season matchups, dates and times

We've known the Ravens' 2018 preseason and regular season opponents for some time now, but the NFL finally released their full schedule with exact dates and times.

As they do every year, the Ravens will be seeing the Bengals, Steelers and Browns twice. 

For the ninth consecutive year, Week 16 and 17 will be divisional games with playoff implications.

The Ravens will also be playing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame preseason game against the Chicago Bears in Canton, Ohio, bringing an extra preseason game to their schedule.

In the regular season, the birds will be flocking south to take on the Panthers, Falcons and Titans. They haven't seen the Panthers or Falcons since 2014 - both ending in wins - and came up just short against the Titans in their 23-20 loss last season.

The Ravens will only have to travel to the west coast once when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers, who they last saw in 2015 and earned a 29-26 win.

Not including AFC North rivals, the last time the Ravens saw their remaining five home opponents they came away with wins. Hopefully history will repeat itself.

Prime-time games, which the Ravens have two of, will kick off at earlier times than in the past. Monday Night Football will now start at 8:15 p.m. while Thursday and Sunday Night Football will start at 8:20 p.m.

Ravens 2018 Regular-Season Schedule:

Week 1: Sunday, 9/9 vs. Bills, 1:00 p.m.

Week 2: Thursday, 9/13 @ Bengals, 8:20 p.m.

Week 3: Sunday, 9/23 vs. Broncos. 1:00 p.m.

Week 4: Sunday, 9/30 @ Steelers, 8:20 p.m.

Week 5: Sunday, 10/7 @ Browns, 1:00 p.m.

Week 6: Sunday 10/14 @ Titans, 4:25 p.m.

Week 7: Sunday, 10/21 vs. Saints, 4:05 p.m.

Week 8: Sunday 10/28 @ Panthers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 9: Sunday 11/4 vs. Steelers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 10:  BYE week

Week 11: Sunday 11/18 vs. Bengals, 1:00 p.m.

Week 12: Sunday 11/25 vs. Raiders, 1:00 p.m.

Week 13: Sunday 12/2 @ Falcons, 1:00 p.m.

Week 14: Sunday 12/9 @ Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.

Week 15: Sunday 12/16 vs. Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 16: Saturday 12/22 or Sunday 12/23 @ Chargers, TBD

Week 17: Sunday 12/30 vs. Browns, 1:00 p.m.


PRESEASON 

Hall of Fame Game: Thurs., 8/2, vs. Chicago Bears (Canton, OH), 8:00pm (NBC).

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. Los Angeles Rams

Week 2: Mon. 8/20,  at Indianapolis Colts (Monday Night Football, ESPN).

Week 3: at Miami Dolphins*

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30 at Washington Redskins

* - Game date and time not yet determined

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As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

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As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

With 10 days until the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterback Lamar Jackson is set to visit the Ravens this week, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

The former Heisman Trophy winner is a projected first-round pick as he has proven to have success in the air and on the ground. 

While at Louisville, Jackson had 9,043 passing yards and 69 touchdowns. He also rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns. His NFL draft profile compares him to Michael Vick. 

RELATED: BEST QUOTES FROM RAVENS PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE

The Ravens are in search of Joe Flacco's successor, but spending a first-round pick on a quarterback when there are other glaring needs is up in the air. However, assistant general manager Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of drafting a quarterback in the first-round.

At their pre-draft press conference, GM Ozzie Newsome and DeCosta kept reiterating we could be surprised by who they pick at No. 16, if they do at all. 

While Jackson's numbers are impressive, he continues to be considered a late first-round pick as his build isn't up to typical NFL QB standards and scouts are concerned with his accuracy. What he does have in his favor is speed.

While fans are hoping for an offensive weapon, having Jackson learn under Flacco for a year (and maybe RGIII?) could rev up some excitement. 

RELATED: RGIII READY TO MOVE FORWARD AS NEW, GROWN PLAYER