Joe Flacco Makes No Excuses, Steve Smith To Retire A Panther


Sep 21, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) against Cleveland Browns defensive end John Hughes (93) during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Lunchtime Links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption.  Today we find out that Joe Flacco is not making any excuses for the team’s losses on offense, Steve Smith wants to retire as a Panther, and DeAngelo Williams is ready for the “blood and guts” on Sunday.

Joe Flacco won’t use losses as an excuse

The Ravens have lost two key pieces on offense in the last week or so with a season ending injury to tight end Dennis Pitta and a multi week injury to left tackle Eugene Monroe.  But Joe Flacco knows that the Ravens can’t use these losses as an excuse, and that they must pick up the pieces and move forward.

“Good offenses aren’t made up of one guy hear and one guy there,” Flacco said. “They are made up of a collection of guys that play physical, play fast and can do a lot of things. And I think we have that. When you put together a team, you have to account for things to happen. It’s football. Guys get hurt, and you never know how long they’re going to be out…We have to be good enough to overcome them. And I think we have the ability to do that.”

Flacco also expressed confidence in new starting left tackle James Hurst, who surprised many by making the final roster as an undrafted free agent.  “All I can really do is go back there and have confidence that we’re going to do everything in our power to play well, and (Hurst is) going to play well,” Flacco said. “And I have all the confidence in the world in him.”  

It’s good to see Flacco confident, as he really doesn’t have a choice otherwise.  We aren’t so much worried about the loss of Pitta as the loss of Monroe, even though he wasn’t exactly playing lights out this season.  Expect some first game jitters and mistakes on Hurst’s part, which are not what we want to see in a game that could go down to the wire.

Steve Smith wants to retire a Panther

For whatever reason (guess it makes an intriguing headline), people are making a big deal over comments Steve Smith made that he wants to retire as a Panther.  Is it really a surprise?  The guy is 35 years old and spent 13 seasons with the Panthers, did you think he was going to do anything else?  Bad blood or no, we’ve seen this story before.  Brett Favre left the Packers with some hurt feelings, but even he admitted that his legacy is with the Pack, just like Joe Montana’s was with the 49ers.

“When that time comes, I’ll be able to walk back in those doors and retire as a Panther and have the respect and not have such a split and not allow the few individuals in their temporary residence there to alter a decade of what I’ve done and experienced in that great organization,” Smith told Ashley Cox at ESPN.  “I was there 13 years, and the way I look at it and what I was told, I’ll be there a lot longer than they will.”

DeAngelo Williams ready for “blood and guts”

You knew when Steve Smith was asked what would happen in week four when the Panthers came into town to face the Ravens he would have a good answer.  But his response was a little more like one out of a horror flick, and made for another great headline.

Smith told WFNZ “I want to make sure that whatever team I go to, they’re going to get the best, in-shape 35-year-old guy they can get. If that happens to run through Bank of America Stadium, put your goggles on cause there’s going to be blood and guts everywhere.”

Panther’s running back and all around great guy DeAngelo Williams didn’t forget Smith’s comments, and had a hilarious response for the media yesterday.  All in good fun, of course.

Sunday is going to be entertaining, for sure.