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Steve Smith Fitting In 'Perfectly' With Ravens

Posted Jul 23, 2014

Despite a new team for the first time in 13 years, Steve Smith Sr. envisions a smooth camp.

It’s not uncommon for veterans from other teams to struggle to adapt to the Ravens' practice intensity.

Training camp is hard work in Owings Mills.

Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. isn’t sweating it though.

Smith is about to embark on his first training camp outside of the Carolinas after 13 years with the Panthers, but feels like he fits in here more than his old home.

“I think playing and being in the Ravens organization, the Raven Way, I think I fit in perfectly compared to where I was prior,” Smith said Wednesday as veterans reported for camp.

“I’m happy where I’m at and I’m happy I got the opportunity to be here. I think I’m going to fit in perfectly.”

Smith actually got to Baltimore Monday, a couple days early. He took the time to pass his conditioning test, something that veteran newcomers from other teams have sometimes struggled with.

“It was pretty tough, but that’s the whole purpose of it,” Smith said. “I think coach uses that as an opportunity to see which guys are all in.”

Smith has already proven himself on the practice field with the Ravens.

His hands have impressed quarterback Joe Flacco and Harbaugh. He has hardly let a pass hit the turf, scored several touchdowns and made a couple one-handed grabs. He showed his competitive side, including a scuffle with cornerback Lardarius Webb.

Thus far, he has embodied what it means to “Play Like A Raven.”

“I love the personality [here],” Smith said. “It’s not really about what you say, it’s about what you do. That’s the part I love about it.

“I’m not concerned about the perception; it’s about what’s going on. What are we doing? How are we improving? At the end, that’s what people care about is the wins and losses. It’s not all the stuff and fancy get-up that goes on during the week.”

In training camp, Smith seems to be focusing more on the work off the field than on it. He downplayed the need for building chemistry with Flacco, saying, “There’s no chemistry. If you throw me a ball and it’s catchable, I’m going to snag it.”

During these intense weeks of training camp, in which the players stay together in nearby hotels, Smith is looking to do some more bonding. Smith went back home to Charlotte to spend time with his family during the break, so he’s looking forward to more time with teammates.

“My mindset honestly is just get acclimated to my teammates, get an opportunity at training camp to get to know them a little bit better,” Smith said. “It gives me the opportunity at night when we’re sitting around, to have some one-on-one time with guys.”

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