Steve Smith's Sarcastic Response To Rookie Criticism: I'm Losing Sleep … Not
Please never retire, Steve Smith Sr.
Who will fill the role of the quick-witted, sarcastic, ornery future Hall of Fame receiver?
Smith was asked by Cincinnati media yesterday for his reaction to rookie cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Anthony Brown (Dallas Cowboys), who said separately that they lost respect for the 37-year-old veteran after playing him this season.
Per ESPN's Katherine Terrell, Smith said, "I could give a flying [you know what]." But he disputes that part of his response.
The rest of his amazing, sarcastic response seems to be undisputed.
"Older guys, they understand the respect game. These young guys, these new millennium guys, they don't really get it," Smith said.
"I've had two rookies that unfortunately, they have lost all respect for me, so it's been really keeping me up at night. It's tragic. I've been losing sleep. With all the lack of sleep, I know we lost, but I was almost unable to send my cleats and gloves all the way to Canton because of the lack of the sleep thing."
Luckily, Smith was able to get over the rookies' barbs just enough to find the willpower and energy to deliver the gear he wore last week in Dallas when he notched his 1,000th career catch. The two rookies may not have respect for Smith's playing style, but only 14 people in NFL history can say they've accomplished that feat.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh weighed in on the matter, explaining that younger players may not get Smith's throwback style of play.
"I think that [the cornerbacks] have respect for him, and I think when you read the quotes, they didn't say they didn't have any respect for him," he said, per ESPN. "But I think they were probably a little shocked by Steve's style, which you don't see that much anymore. It's a different age probably, a different era in some ways, and Steve is probably a throwback to before even his time really."
Flacco Didn't Watch Lewis' Apology, But He Was Never Offended And Is Over It
Flacco didn't watch the video and he hasn't heard from Lewis directly, according to The Baltimore Sun, but he said he never expected an apology from Lewis because he wasn't offended to begin with.
"I didn’t see it," Flacco told The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. "I saw he made one, saw the gist of it. It wasn't a big deal.
"I was never really that worried about it. I got over it. Listen, Ray is going to be around here. We're going to have a relationship. We're both going to be in Baltimore for a long time. I didn't want to get offended by it. I think, initially, I could have been a little bit, but at the end of the day, I didn't really worry too much about it."
Suggs Wants To Stop Taking Beatdowns From Bengals
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs' reaction was classic when ESPN's Jamison Hensley began yesterday's locker room interview by reminding Suggs that the Ravens have lost their last five games against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"Whoa! Damn!" was Suggs' raw reaction.
It's as if Hensley felt like Suggs was going to take out the losing streak on him: "Well, you told me to [ask a question] first!"
Suggs likened the Bengals to a bully that you eventually have to face in order to earn respect.
"It's just like that kid you just got to fight every day until you win," Suggs said. "They've been kind of picking on us. Five straight is five straight. Numbers don't lie. They've kind of had our number. We're going to see what we can do to change that."
Sunday's game gives the Ravens the best opportunity of the last several years to reverse the trend, seeing as Cincinnati has only won three games and will be without top wide receiver A.J. Green (hamstring) and starting running back Giovanni Bernard (ACL).
Even though they have a 3-5-1 record and lost major offensive pieces, the Ravens are taking nothing for granted.
"T]he Ravens say they [won’t look past Cincinnati," wrote CSNMidAtlantic.com's Clifton Brown. "The Ravens (5-5) and Steelers (5-5) are in a tight battle for the AFC North title, with the winner making the playoffs, and the loser likely missing the postseason."
Ravens Dip In National Power Rankings
The Ravens' loss to the top-ranked Cowboys Sunday didn't send Baltimore tumbling down national power rankings, but they did dip in most lists by one or two spots.
However, they actually moved up four spots in Yahoo! Sports' list after playing better than the website expected. The average Baltimore ranking is No. 15.
Bleacher Report: No. 14 (moved down three spots)
"Baltimore lost its Week 11 game before it even kicked off. That's when the team ruled out Jimmy Smith, its top cover corner and the only Ravens defensive back capable of hanging with Dez Bryant. …Meanwhile, the offense continued to sputter. Penalties are this team's worst nightmare. Joe Flacco and Co. went in the tank for long stretches."
CBS Sports: No. 14 (moved down two spots)
"They battled at Dallas, but they didn't do enough on offense. Even so, they remain in first place in the AFC North."
ESPN: No. 14 (moved down one spot)
"The AFC North is underwhelming this season, which is why at 5-5, the Ravens sit atop the division. But three of the Ravens' five wins have come against the Browns and Jaguars, who are a combined 2-19 this season. The Bengals are only 3-6-1 but should provide a tougher test this week."
USA Today: No. 15 (moved down one spot)
"We're not sure you should've beaten Dallas, Joe. You should beat Cincinnati. And you shouldn't pop off right after Ray Lewis questions your fire."
NFL.com: No. 16 (moved down one spot)
"Steve Smith Sr. might be 37 years old, but the dude still looks like the Ravens' best skill player. This Energizer Bunny came into Week 11 with a respectable 36 receptions for 417 yards. Sunday in Dallas, he caught eight balls for 99 yards and a touchdown -- despite a game plan that called for the run early and had Joe Flacco looking for Mike Wallace often. Let's not overreact to a road loss to the NFC's best team. Although it seemed like Flacco had an overcooked reaction to Ray Lewis' comments, coming off a little cocky in postgame -- saying the Cowboys are a team the Ravens should beat. They're 9-1, dude. And better than your team. That said, Baltimore remains atop the underwhelming AFC North."
Yahoo! Sports: No. 16 (moved up four spots)
"I probably had the Ravens underrated last week. They played pretty well in a loss against Dallas. The defense is solid. But there's still nothing about this team that stands out. Let's be honest, if we want the best possible playoff games, we're rooting for the Steelers to win the AFC North."
ProFootballTalk.com: No. 17 (moved down two spots)
"Even Ray Lewis trolling Joe Flacco wasn't enough to get the Ravens over the hump in Dallas."
Fox Sports: No. 19 (moved down two spots)
"The Ravens' top-ranked defense was shredded by the Cowboys, and the offense continued to struggle outside of its first touchdown drive. Joe Flacco isn't the quarterback he once was as he has just 10 touchdown passes and nine interceptions in 10 games. The Ravens are still tied for first in the AFC North, but their lack of a consistent offense paired with the absence of a statement win hurts their outlook."
Three Things To Be Thankful For As A Ravens Fan
As you and your loved ones get set for a day of thanksgiving, turkey and football, CSNMidAtlantic.com wants to remind you of three things to be grateful for as a Ravens fan.
If one of your friends or family members forces you to go around the table to say at least one thing you're grateful for this year (I always make my kids and husband participate in this tradition), Clifton Brown is here to help:
1) A Mediocre AFC North"Baltimore is only in first place because the rest of the usually murderous AFC North hasn't provided much competition this season. It's a rare break for the Ravens, who have struggled with injuries and inconsistency – even from Joe Flacco."
2) Steve Smith Sr."That 37-year-old Smith remains one of the Ravens' top weapons is an actual miracle."
3) Marshal Yanda"Having a five-time Pro Bowl guard that can play on the right and left certainly helps. Especially given that the Ravens have injury issues on the line, Yanda's presence is invaluable."