Listen: Smith Pulled Over During Radio Call
Yes, you read that headline correctly.
Recently-signed wide receiver Steve Smith was pulled over by the police while doing an interview with "The Dan Le Batard Show" on ESPN radio.
It is unclear why Smith was pulled over. He put the call on hold while he spoke with the officer(s), and he said he didn't receive a ticket of any kind.
In the audio below, at about 1:25 mark, Smith is answering a question about whether there are any NFL players he doesn't like, when suddenly Smith saw the police. Here was the exchange.
Smith: "Oh. See, you guys got me in trouble. I'm getting pulled over by the police."
Host: "Right now? While we are talking to you?"
Host: "Were you speeding?"
Smith: "No, I'm not speeding. I guess I'm on my cellphone. … How about I keep you on hold while I go through the procedure?"
It wasn't a long wait.
Smith was only gone for about three and a half minutes. At the 4:25 mark in the audio below, Smith returns and is unsure of why he was pulled over. He said it was not for talking on his cellphone.
Host: "You must have gotten out of the ticket if you're back that fast, right?"
Smith: "Hey, when you don't have any warrants or prior arrests, it goes a long way with being a good citizen."
Host: "Did you drop the Steve Smith card at all?"
Smith: "No I didn't. My ID does that."
Host: "Does your ID say NFL wide receiver? Is the cop a football fan?"
Smith: "No, my ID is cleared as no priors. So I was good."
Host: "What did you get in trouble for? Being on the cellphone?"
Smith: "Nah, you know. Uuuuh, hey, a brother driving a nice car … You know, sometimes they got to make sure … [inaudible] … all matches up."
(Mobile users tap "View in Browser" at the top of the page to listen.)
Blount A Good Fit For Ravens Backfield?
The Ravens are on the record. They want more depth at running back.
So it's not a question of if they will add another back to the mix, it's simply who?
The Ravens could use the NFL Draft to bulk up at the position, as they could get very good value in mid rounds. But if they look to free agency, ESPN's Jamison Hensley likes the idea of pursuing LeGarrette Blount.
Blount helped carry the New England Patriots offense late last season as the passing game faded. He finished the year with 722 rushing yards.
"The best fit for the Ravens in free agency is LeGarrette Blount," Hensley wrote.
"He is the bruising big back that the Ravens have lacked in their ground game for years. Blount is not an electric runner. He's 247 pounds, and he has pedestrian speed for an NFL running back (he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds). Why the Ravens should look at Blount is his running style. He does most of his damage in between the tackles, unlike Pierce, who has a habit of bouncing too quickly to the outside."
Ravens Interested In Ihedigbo, But Is Interest Mutual?
It's been speculated that the Ravens would not want to re-sign safety James Ihedigbo because his strength is the same as 2013 first-round draft pick Matt Elam. Both are best suited at strong safety, and the Ravens are looking to add a playmaking free safety.
Despite that, however, the Ravens have "maintained interest" in Ihedigbo as he explores his free agent options, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. Wilson notes that filling the safety role is a "fluid situation" in Baltimore.
Ihedigbo visited with the Detroit Lions last week, and he left town saying he needed to figure out his agent situation. All indications were that Ihedigbo would reunite with former Ravens Secondary Coach Teryl Austin, who is now the Lions' defensive coordinator.
Even though the Ravens may have interest in bringing back Ihedigbo, the feelings may not be mutual.
Baltimore is not among the teams in the running to sign Ihedigbo, per The Carroll County Times' Matt Zenitz. Instead, Zenitz reports, Ihedigbo is deciding between three NFC teams.
Cross Fitzpatrick Off Your List
For those of you in the Hensley camp that would have liked to have seen the Ravens make a move for Ryan Fitzpatrick, the quarterback is no longer an option for a backup role in Baltimore.
Fitzpatrick signed a two-year deal with the Houston Texans yesterday.
"I thought Ryan Fitzpatrick would be an upgrade at backup QB for #Ravens," tweeted Hensley.
"Matt Schaub could be more expendable," added ESPN's Ed Werder.
Before anyone starts thinking of Schaub, a 10-year starter and two-time Pro Bowler, reuniting with Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak and backing up Joe Flacco, there are reports that the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets would be interested in him as a starter.
UPDATE: The Raiders just traded a seventh-round pick for Schaub.
Bothered Steelers Didn't Lose A Pick?
As a Ravens fan, are you bothered that the Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t docked a draft pick for the Mike Tomlin sideline interference?
It wouldn't be surprising if fans are perturbed, but being objective, WBAL's Gerry Sandusky indicates the league made the right decision.
"Doesn’t bother me that Steelers won't lose a pick over Tomlin sideline gaffe," he tweeted. "Ravens won. He got a 100K fine. That's fair. Your thoughts?"
Hensley explains why nobody could have expected a draft penalty.
"While many Ravens players believe Tomlin intentionally stepped on the field Thanksgiving night to impede Jacoby Jones' path, no one can prove it convincingly. The NFL only takes away draft picks when there is indisputable proof like in the cases of Spygate and the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal.
"Of course, the Ravens might have pressed for more than a fine if they had lost to the Steelers that night. But I'm guessing the Ravens won't be too quick to forgive or forget the Tomlin incident. I would put good money on the Ravens showing a replay of Tomlin's sideline gaffe every time he steps into M&T Bank Stadium every year. Reliving that embarrassment every year could end up being the toughest punishment of them all for Tomlin."
- Former Patriots players are saying the team is cheating on injury reports. [FoxSports.com]
- Tight end Ed Dickson hasn't been a particularly hot commodity in free agency. [The Baltimore Sun]
- A fan asked if he can reasonably expect to see starting at right tackle this season.* *"I wouldn't rule out Rick Wagner," Hensley replied. "He was considered a second-round talent before he struggled his final year at Wisconsin. But I wouldn't give him the job because of his lack of experience. Wagner would have to earn it. I would like the Ravens to draft either a guard or a tackle. If Wagner impresses, that's a bonus. I don't like putting all of your hope in a fifth-round pick developing into a starter." [ESPN]
- And what about re-signing Bryant McKinnie, but to play on the right side this time? "It's a call no one in the Ravens organization will be allowed to make," Hensley wrote. "I believe McKinnie is on the blocked calls list at Owings Mills. He was a headache for three years, and the Ravens are happier without him." [ESPN]
- Trainer Kyle Jakobe said he has to re-teach how to run because his hip and body were so beat up after the 2013 regular season. After a couple months of work, Jakobe said Rice may be in the best shape he's ever been in. Rice is flying, cutting on a dime and is in "peak performance." [105.7 The Fan]
- @TheSeventyFifth Eugene Monroe]: Like always, [o line is first in the building today [Thursday]! [Twitter]
- @aqshipley: Early bird gets the worm! Flight at 840 so working out with @KyleJakobe at 5am! @SweatPer4mance. #workwins #sacrifice #grind #ravens [Twitter]
- Based on what Jerry Rice and Derrick Mason did when they were 35 years old on a winning team, John Clayton believes Steve Smith could have a 70-catch season and maybe even notch 1,000 yards. [ESPN]