Steve Smith Sr. has had the Week 4 matchup with the Carolina Panthers circled on his calendar for months.
From the time that the veteran wide receiver signed with the Ravens in March, he's been answering questions about the eventual matchup with the team he spent 13 seasons with. Now that the game is just six days away, the focus throughout the week will be on the fiery pass catcher gearing up for the much-anticipated showdown.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked Monday about his advice for Smith heading into Sunday's game at M&T Bank Stadium.
Harbaugh looked into the cameras, noting he thinks Steve would be watching.
"My advice to Steve will be, 'Shock the world. Surprise everybody. Don't even say a word the whole game. Go into a shell,'" Harbaugh said with a smile. "But I don't think he's going to take that advice."
Smith, who leads the Ravens with 290 receiving yards on 18 catches, is known for his intensity when he gets on the football field. Facing his old team that cut him after a record-setting tenure with the franchise is expected to bring that emotion and passion to an even greater level.
When Smith signed with the Ravens six months ago, part of the attraction to the franchise was that Harbaugh told Smith, "We want you to be yourself." Harbaugh and the Ravens know Smith will be fired up for the contest, and he reiterated the message that he delivered to Smith on his very first day in Baltimore.
"I think he's going to be himself," Harbaugh said. "Steve knows how to control his emotions. He's going to be fired up. He's knows how to channel that. He knows how to focus that the right way."