They grew up in neighboring Virginia communities and both have ties to Maryland. Smith went to the University of Maryland. Haden moved to Maryland in middle school and played high school football at Friendly in Fort Washington.
They still stay in touch, as do their families.
So when Smith heard of Haden’s comment that “the Ravens aren’t the Ravens of old,” the wide receiver simply smiled and took no offense.
“I think it’s safe to say,” Smith said. “We’re not the same team. … We’re built the same, but it’s not the same guys. That's just fact to it.
“At the same time, if we play the way we’re capable of playing, we’re still the Ravens [of old], and if we get to that point, other teams will know.”
Smith said that Head Coach John Harbaugh didn’t point out the comments to try to motivate his players. Smith found out about it through the media.
“It doesn’t matter what people say, whether it’s your opponent or the media or whatever,” Smith said. “We’ve got to go out there and play ball. And obviously you don’t want to prove them right.”
However, right tackle
“I got the email. Everybody got the email. Everybody saw it,” Oher said. “I trust in the guys upstairs. We got great guys upstairs. If you’re in this organization as a player, then you’re a great player. And we’re here for a reason. And I’m looking for great things for the future of this team the next nine weeks.”
Instead of focusing on who the “Ravens of old” are, the players looked ahead to who this 2013 team can become.
“Everybody’s going to think that because we haven’t put enough wins together,” rookie safety