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Steve Smith offers advice to Odell Beckham Jr. after Miami boat trip

Steve Smith offers advice to Odell Beckham Jr. after Miami boat trip


Former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith offered some clear and concise advice to Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. during a television appearance Tuesday.

Speaking on Fox Sports 1’s “Undisputed,” Smith said Beckham needs to “make more mature and professional decisions” moving forward in his career.

“You have to think less about your brand … and more about the company,” Smith said. “The company which pays you and gives you that opportunity to do all the things that you get to do. You cannot allow your extracurricular activities to supersede and become more important than your current job — the W2, that allows you to get K1s and 1099s. You have to make sure you take care of that first.”

Beckham, along with fellow Giants receivers Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis, all traveled to Miami on their day off a day after beating the Redskins 19-10 in their regular-season finale on Jan. 1.

Last Sunday, one week after the game, the Giants then went on to lose 38-13 on the road against the Packers in the NFC Wild Card round.

Statistically, Beckham and the other receivers on the trip did not have their best games. Beckham had just four catches for 28 yards, which included some drops.

 “So like what I tell my son, 19 years old in college, he plays sports,” Smith said. “I tell him, ‘Academics first, athletics second.’ Academics means you’ve got to think, which his dad didn’t always do, so I’m speaking from experience. So he’s going to have some growing pains, but I don’t think growing pains, I don’t thinking growing up is the thing.

“He has to mature, he has to understand what he has to do and how the spotlight is on him. We’re in a day and age now where social media and attention, TMZ, all these things are putting us in the forefront and make us think and feel and act. Like we are more important. ‘The league cannot do anything without me.’”

Smith, 37, who officially retired from the NFL after 16 seasons last Friday, was known for his brash style of play throughout his career.

“The league has and will continue to be existing beyond you and after you and before you,” Smith said. “There was a number, there was somebody – I don’t know who – somebody was in (No.) 13 before you. And you know what? Unless you calm down what you’re doing and continue to play well, you have the possibility of making sure no one will wear that number after you.”


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Steelers bolster secondary by trading for disgruntled Minkah Fitzpatrick

Steelers bolster secondary by trading for disgruntled Minkah Fitzpatrick

According to a report from Ian Rapoport, the Ravens will have to deal with Minkah Fitzpatrick two more times this season.

The Steelers boosted their secondary by adding Fitzpatrick in a trade with the Dolphins on Monday night. The Steelers sent their 2020 first-round pick to the Dolphins in exchange for the cornerback.

The Dolphins, after their opening week loss to the Ravens, gave permission for Fitzpatrick to seek a trade. Then the Steelers came calling. 

Fitzpatrick is a second-year defensive back who was a 2018 first-round pick out of Alabama. He expressed frustration in recent weeks about playing out of position and the team's lack of direction. 

Against the Ravens, Fitzpatrick was torched in the secondary that allowed Lamar Jackson to throw for five touchdowns in a 59-10 win. 

The Steelers will most likely have Fitzpatrick fully integrated to the lineup by the time they host the Ravens on Oct. 6. They'll head to Baltimore on Dec. 29 in Week 17.

At 0-2, the Steelers are making a big gamble on Fitzpatrick and his future in the league considering what their 2020 draft pick could be.


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In slight to Ravens and others, Steve Young says AFC is a ‘wrap’

In slight to Ravens and others, Steve Young says AFC is a ‘wrap’

Through two weeks of the NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens have looked impressive. Yes, it's a small sample size, but a 2-0 record compounded with strong performances from Lamar Jackson and others has the team looking like it could be a strong contender in the conference.

It's early, but it's not crazy to think that the Ravens at least have a chance of being the team to come out of the AFC or competing for the conference title.

Yet according to ESPN's NFL analyst Steve Young, that won't be the case. Not because the Ravens aren't a good football team, but because Young believes there are others that are far superior. Those teams being the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. 

"It's a wrap. It's a wrap on the AFC except for the Chiefs," Young said on the pregame show for Monday Night Football. "I know that's going to make the Buffalo Bills mad, gonna make the Ravens, a lot teams, the Chargers. There's a lot of teams that need to play football to get there. But to me, it's a wrap to the Championship game."

Young does have the Chiefs as a team he sees making it to the conference game, but his main point is that no one is dethroning the Patriots. Not Patrick Mahomes, and not Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

It isn't hard to understand where Young is coming from. Two dominant wins to open the season and the acquisition of star receiver Antonio Brown for Tom Brady has made an already lethal offense even more dangerous. Once again it's still early, but the defending Super Bowl champions seem to have gotten even better.

Add that to their consistent success over the past decade, and Young feels as if he knows where this season is going.

"We've seen this movie so many times, why would we think it would be anything different?" Young said. "I used to think, 'Oh you can't play that about football, there's too many variables.' My point is, the Patriots are the team. It's early September, I think it's done. It's a done deal."

As Young says there, football is a game of variables, and we're not even a quarter of the way into the season and things can certainly change. Maybe the Patriots are going to run through the league again, but maybe they won't. Maybe the same can be said for the Ravens' hot start. Only time will tell.

But, even with that, Young has a feeling it will Belichick and Brady once again rising to the top of the AFC.