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Smith Sr. may not like Patriots, but gives their defense props

Smith Sr. may not like Patriots, but gives their defense props

Don’t expect to see Steve Smith Sr. playing anymore, but you will still hear from him.  Only days into his retirement from the Ravens, the always candid Smith described the difficulty of facing the Patriots’ defense as a guest on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” program.

During a 30-23 loss to the Patriots on Dec. 12, Smith had four catches for 57 yards, and felt like he earned every one of those yards.

“I hate to admit it, but the New England Patriots’ staff seems to have it all together,” Smith said on the program. “Scouting department, they know what you’re doing. Nothing is more defeating to a wide receiver, is when you are lined up and the corners and the linebackers are saying, ‘Watch the dagger route, watch the dagger route.’

“So you’re running a route, and you’re going at times, ‘Joe (Flacco), you better not throw this ball.’ …Their scouting department does a great job keeping you on your toes. Your bread and butter plays? They take them away.”

On another subject, Smith said NFL rule changes have made it tougher for defenders to know what constitutes a penalty, and what doesn’t.

“It’s very inconsistent with the calls,” Smith said. “I think a guy will get hit on one play, and they’ll be a penalty. The other team will get hit three or four times - generally the visiting team will get hit three or four times and no call. Our Pittsburgh Christmas debacle? When you look at that game, there were several hits on Dennis Pitta that I was happy my name was Steve Smith Sr. and not Dennis Pitta. But C. J. Mosley got a hit, which was a legal hit, and we got a penalty. So I think it’s become very inconsistent on what’s too much, and what’s not enough.”

Smith likes doing television, which will likely be part of his post-career life. He figures to be very good at it. Expressing his opinion has never been a problem for Smith.  

MORE RAVENS: 3 reasons why John Harbaugh kept Marty Mornhinweg as offensive coordinator

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

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Ravens' Eric DCosta not ruling out taking a quarterback at No. 16

And with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select.... a quarterback?

Assistant general manager, and soon to be general manager, Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility that the Ravens use their first-round pick on drafting a quarterback to eventually replace Joe Flacco. 

"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 draft a quarterback in the first-round. 

Quarterback is just one of many offensive needs for the team. Joe Flacco's stats have been trending downward as the 33-year old is entering his 11th season.


Owner Steve Bisciotti though may disagree with DeCosta.

At his annual State of the Ravens press conference, Bisciotti said, "That’s not really something that we’re worried about right now. We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess. I don’t consider that a big worry," in regards to looking at life after Joe. Bisciotti also noted the team would be looking at all options in free agency and the draft for weapons for their QB.

From the sound of that, it appears the team's first choice would be a wideout, but the Ravens haven't drafted a quarterback since Joe Flacco back in 2008. 

The 2018 NFL Draft class has a handful of strong quarterbacks to choose from and not a ton of first-round wide receivers. 

Former Ravens scout, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com has predicted the team with take Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield in the first-round. 

"It basically depends on our evaluation and how we feel about the guy, what we think he can become as a player and what we think his upside is and if he's there," DeCosta said

Backup Ryan Mallet is a free agent so the organization will have to find someone to fill the role, whether it's someone on a one year-deal, or the future QB of the franchise. 


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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Michael Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Schefter.

After being released by the Raiders on Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.