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Steve Smith Sr. Has Been A Pain For Ravens Defense


Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees laughed when he was asked about wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. after a recent organized team activities (OTAs) practice.

"I could use some adjectives," Pees joked.

The veteran wide receiver has been a welcomed headache for Pees and the defensive players since he arrived in Baltimore this offseason. He practices hard, regularly challenging defensive backs throughout practice.

He also makes it known when he beats them in drills.

"He is a pain – in a good way," Pees said. "First thing I told him, I just went up and touched him, because I saw him and [said], 'I just want to be the first defensive back I've coached that ever touched you.'"

Most practices during OTAs are held at a slower pace compared to action during training camp, but teammates and coaches have all talked about the intensity the 14-year veteran brings.

"He's just so competitive," Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak said. "He brings an edge to practice all the time. He challenges people, as far as how you play and how you go about doing [your work]. He's challenged coaches, too."

"You definitely see the fire," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "I've known Steve for a couple of years now, but to actually play with him and see the way he works, he takes everything serious, he's very passionate."

Steve Smith has been one of the NFL's most productive receivers over the course of his career, as he's caught 837 passes for more than 12,000 yards and 67 touchdowns. He already has a resume that puts him in Hall of Fame consideration, but now he's out to prove he can still play at a high level after getting released by the Carolina Panthers this offseason.

The Ravens signed him to help ignite the passing game, and Kubiak already sees his attitude paying dividends.

"Every good offense that I've been around, I've had a few of those guys saying, 'Get me the ball, coach!' and that's a good thing," Kubiak said. "That's what you want. He works to get the ball, so that's what's impressive to me."

The Ravens still have more than two months before Smith takes the field in a meaningful game, when the Ravens open the season against the Cincinnati Bengals in Baltimore.

Until then, however, he'll just keep creating problems in practice for Pees and his defense.

"The guy is a heck of a player," Pees said. "He's everything advertised. I'm glad he's on our team."

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