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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

BY KEVIN CONNELL

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.”

MORE RAVENS: RAVENS OWNER CHALLENGES JOE FLACCO TO DO MORE IN 2017

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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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