T. Smith Hits Home Run, Delivers Victory Dance
Torrey Smith has been busy participating in charity softball tournaments lately.
He was among the 40 players participating in Lardarius Webb's softball tourney yesterday, benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Baltimore. Prior to that, he joined the NFL Stars versus Wounded Warriors Softball Game in Bowie, Md.
Apparently the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team kicked the NFL stars' booty, but Smith did at least get in one home run and provided some entertainment as he rounded the bases.
The best was when he was running to home plate and performed for the first time (that I've ever seen) Ray Lewis' renowned Squirrel Dance.
Smith has never been a big touchdown celebration guy, so it was fun to see him try his hand at dancing. He's no Ray Ray or Jacoby Jones, but he got the crowd laughing in the video below, provided by Sports Brothers Report.
Other NFL stars at the event were Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson and Redskins receiver Josh Morgan to show their support for
Other NFL stars at the event were Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson and Redskins receiver Josh Morgan to show their support for the Wounded Warrior Project, Yellow Ribbon Fund and the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team.
"My legs are sore from OTAs (Organized Team Activities), and I'm looking at someone missing their's by going out there and defending us, defending folks that they don't even know," Smith told Comcast SportsNet. "So I definitely think it puts it into perspective at the worst of our problems physically don't even match their's– not even close."
Never-Before-Told Details Of Flacco-Bisciotti Private Talk
Agent Joe Linta said the Ravens were "dumb" for not signing client Joe Flacco before last season, but they certainly tried their best.
Contrary to his usual practice, even Owner Steve Bisciotti got into the negotiations.
WNST's Nestor Aparicio provided never-before-reported details of a 45-minute, face-to-face meeting between the owner and his franchise quarterback in a last-ditch effort to strike a deal before the 2012 season.
Aparicio outlines the meeting in an excerpt from his 480-page book about the team's second Super Bowl run entitled, Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome called Bisciotti to tell him there was no way a deal was getting done before the season. Flacco turned down a "bump and roll" $90 million dollar offer that included a $1 million per year bonus if he won a Super Bowl. He'd get $2 million per year if he had won two Super Bowls.
The average base salary of $16.7 million would've made him the fourth-highest paid quarterback behind Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning. Flacco and his agent turned it down the week before training camp, says Aparicio.
Bisciotti ran into Flacco in the cafeteria and invited him upstairs to his office.
"I had never, ever – not for one minute – even spoken to Joe about the contract," Bisciotti said. "That was for Pat [Moriarty] and Ozzie to do, but I wanted to take one more swing at it and try to understand the situation."
Behind closed doors, the 45-minute conversation went something like this, per Aparicio.
"There are two things here that I don't understand," Bisciotti said to Flacco. "I don't understand why you're walking away from this deal. As maligned as you are in the press and as little faith as so many pundits have in you, we're offering you a $90 million deal and you can go wave that in their face and say, 'F* you guys! See, the Ravens DO believe in me!'"
"I really don't care about my critics," Flacco said.
"I don't understand it. Joe, don't you think you'd play better with a clear head and having this contract behind you?" Bisciotti asked. "You won't have to answer questions from anybody, and you can just focus on playing and winning the Super Bowl."
"Steve, I appreciate the offer, but I really don't care about the media, critics, any of it," Flacco reiterated. "I've gotta trust my agent, and he doesn't want any incentives in contracts. And I've gotta leave it to him."
"Well, I tried," Bisciotti said as he shook Flacco's hand. "Then go out and put a few rings on my desk and get what you think you deserve."
Bisciotti later said of the meeting, "I figured if he's fine with it then I should be fine with it. I wanted it behind both of us. I guess I didn't really understand how different a guy he was. I told him, 'You are a different cat, man!'"
Flacco was described as cool and unemotional during the meeting, as is his custom. While he thought the Ravens' offer wasn't bad, he also believed he could set the market if he performed the way he knew he could. The worst possible alternative was a "catastrophic injury or a bad 2012 season on the field."
"If I got hurt, I got hurt," Flacco said. "That's the nature of the game. I was willing to look in the mirror and live with that. I told him, 'You should give me four or five million more now because if I win the Super Bowl' – and I did say 'if' – 'then it's gonna cost you $20 million.'"
"Hey, I tried to throw him a bone and save him some money."
Jimmy 'Noticeably' Leaner, Lost 10 Pounds With Boxing Regimen
Cornerback Jimmy Smith has lost 10 pounds by taking up a boxing regimen with a trainer in Timonium. Last year he played at 210 pounds, but wants to stay around 200.
"Jimmy Smith is noticeably leaner," Carroll County Times' Matt Zenitz tweeted.
The 6-foot-2 corner told reporters that boxing should help get into optimal shape and improve his health after undergoing sports hernia surgery last season (missed five games) and dealing with back spasms.
"I feel great, I feel like I did in college," Smith said, per The Baltimore Sun. "I actually did some boxing and trying to get my core strength. My trainers told me to work on that for my back and groin. I'm doing conditioning drills, speed bag, no heavy bag.
"A defensive back needs quick hands. The groin really hurt my game last year, playing through that all of last season and finally having surgery. Now that's better. I feel 100 percent better."
Brown On Target For Return
Rookie inside linebacker Arthur Brown is on schedule to return to action by training camp after undergoing sports hernia surgery last month, according to The Sun.
He's somewhat frustrated that he can't practice right now, but the injury intermittently bothered him last season at Kansas State and he is happy to finally address it.
"It's going well and I'm making progress daily, that's what it's all about," Brown said. "It's unfortunate, but mentally I can stay prepared. It's not ideal, but there's a little bit of a positive. I make the most of the opportunity I have with the mental reps.
"It bothered me throughout the season, on and off. It got to the point during minicamp where I had it checked out and got it taken care of."
Brown needs the recovery to continue to go well. The Ravens may be relying on him to start and help replace Lewis.
"Brown should be able to step in and be an even better player than the Lewis we saw in 2012," wrote CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco. "There, I said it."
- Jones' footwork was smooth and looked sharp in the Ravens OTAs after returning from "Dancing With The Stars" last week. Said Aaron Wilson, "The Pro Bowl kick returner cut soundly and accelerated past cornerback Jimmy Smith for a touchdown Friday afternoon." [The Baltimore Sun]
- The Ravens defense could have as many as eight new starters this year. Even with all the turnover, new addition Elvis Dumervil says the unit is gelling well and the chemistry is strong. [NFL.com]
- Criticism is beginning to roll in for former Raven Cary Williams, who has missed many Eagles workouts for a wedding, honeymoon, dental work and now his daughter's recital. [ProFootballTalk.com]
- @ravens: Lardarius Webb just signed a pregnant woman's stomach. Awesome. [Twitter]
- @ravenssalarycap: Happy June 2nd for the Ravens, who received a $2.5M Salary Cap credit for March release of Bernard Pollard. Ravens are now $4.3M under Cap [Twitter]
- @ravenssalarycap: Elam's Cap # will be $1.23M, Williams $534K. Under Rule of 51, will replace guys making $480K and $405K, so net impact on Cap is only $879K [Twitter]
- @ravensinsider: Ravens first-rounder Matt Elam told me he's still in the process of deciding on an agent. Being advised by older brother Abram Elam. [Twitter]
- @jeffzrebiecsun: Attendance a little thinner [second] week at OTAs than [first] week.* *Ngata, Suggs, Leach, Yanda, Canty, Pierce, Webb, Spears among non participants [Twitter]
- @baltsunsports: Ravens Insider: Ravens offensive lineman Antoine McClain recuperating from foot surgery [Twitter]
- @ravens: If there's one WR that LOOKS like Anquan Boldin, it's rookie Aaron Mellette. He had a few nice, tough catches today. [Twitter]
- Ray Rice takes EA SPORTS Game Time back to his hometown of New Rochelle to show everyone where his love of sports was born. [YouTube]