Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. isn't known for biting his tongue.
He did a pretty good job of it after Monday night's tough-to-swallow 30-23 loss in New England, however.
Known for his epic smack talk and brash words after games, Smith even forced wide grins and came up with some funny one-liners when he was playing nice.
"A great philosopher said one time – Thumper's mom in 'Bambi': 'If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all,'" Smith said. "So I'm trying to do that."
An NFL player quoting Bambi after a game may be a first.
"I'm required to speak, I'm going to make myself available, I'm trying to be respectful," Smith said. "But at the same time, I'm frustrated because we didn't win. I'm just trying to word it correctly, so it comes off good. I'm supposed to smile too."
A reporter tried to throw Smith a softball by asking if he was happy to see the Ravens battle back after falling into a 16-0 hole. The Ravens had a chance to take the lead midway through the fourth quarter, but instead drew to three points down on a 38-yard field goal by kicker Justin Tucker.
"It's like getting a terrible sandwich," Smith said. "You bite into it, it's still terrible, but you give the person who made it kudos. 'Well it was a good attempt.' It was a terrible sandwich, so no [I'm not happy]."
Smith kept the food comparisons rolling.
"I was hoping we could play this game and also beat [the Pittsburgh Steelers] for the icing on the cake," Smith said. "Now we've got fish sticks. It's a terrible thing. Garbage."
Asked about the team's mindset heading into a critical three-game stretch in which Baltimore may need to win out to get into the playoffs, Smith said the Ravens have to play hard.
"Can't be lollygagging," he said. "We've got to play dangerous, we've got to play reckless, we've got to play to win, not not* *lose."