Steve Smith always played with an edge as a Carolina Panther from the minute he entered the league in 2001. He's not about to change that in his 14th NFL season, even with a new team in the Baltimore Ravens.
In an interview with CSN Baltimore's Brian Mitchell, Smith said he feels at home with his new team's style — which just happens to match his own fire.
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“When I look in the defensive meeting room and I see ‘Play like a Raven,’ Baltimore Ravens ... ‘We build bullies,'” Smith said with a particularly Smithian smirk, "that’s what I’m talking about.
"I'm talking about ... when I think of a Baltimore Raven, is we go in there, we take your lunch box. We take your sandwich. We take your juice box. We take your apple sauce. We take your spork and we break it. And we leave you with an empty lunch. That’s the Baltimore Raven way. That's the bully way. And that’s football.”
Smith carefully chose his next team after the Panthers let him go this offseason, and he wanted a place where he could fit in. Having heard this, is there a better place he could have landed?
It didn't hurt that Baltimore is just a few hours up the road from his home near Charlotte, and that Smith wanted to stay close to his family. And it also wasn't a bad thing that the Ravens get to host the Panthers this season and that, oh, maybe Smith has designs on exacting some revenge.
But Smith never would fit in with a team that also didn't embrace his grit and hard-nosed style, even at age 35 and in the twilight of his magnificent career. That place is Baltimore, apparently.
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