Nov 30, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) is congratulated by wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. (89) after catching a touchdown in the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Baltimore’s favorite son. Most of us have watched Torrey Smith grow into a man and into an outstanding football player. In a 4 year span as a Raven, Torrey managed to become the Ravens’ 2nd in touchdowns and 3rd in total yards only behind Heap and Mason respectively.
Smith’s best season came in 2013, when he eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark with 1,128 total receiving yards. A reliable speedster for Joe Flacco and a very key part in the Ravens 2012 Super Bowl run, no one will ever forget the two scorching touchdowns Torrey grabbed over Pro bowl cornerback and future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey in Denver.
Let’s not discuss the trade. We’re over that now, right? Let’s talk about the fact that Anquan Boldin’s time with the Ravens was a major component of our definitive success and eventual Super Bowl victory. Flacco’s safety net and most reliable target on third down situations, Boldin never eclipsed 1,000 yards as a Raven and never received a pro bowl invitation.
But Boldin’s on field leadership and reliability led him to his two best seasons in the yards per catch category: 15.6 yards per catch in 2011 and 14.2 yards per catch in 2012. That ranks second behind Torrey Smith. After all, every yard counts! Thank you Anquan.
Now, I could end the list here without too much trouble. But I can’t seem to do so without giving recognition to two Ravens whose time with us wasn’t as long as the ones spoken of previously. But in their brief time with the team, their impact was so phenomenal it cannot be overlooked.
Steve Smith and Shannon Sharpe
Jun 19, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. (89) talks with head coach John Harbaugh (right) during minicamp at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Sharpe gave the Ravens two great years and was probably the most feared receiver/tight end on the field during the Ravens Super Bowl XXXV run. A proven leader and already a 2-time Super Bowl champion from his days in Denver, Sharpe brought a sense of leadership to the tight end group while increasing his Super Bowl ring total to 3. He was Todd Heap, before Todd Heap.
Steve Smith was a mainstay in Carolina before contract negotiations sent him unceremoniously packing his bags at the end of the 2013 season. For the first time in 13 years, Smith was looking for a home, and he found one on 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills, MD.
It’s only been a season, and Smith is under contract as a Raven through 2016. His arrival can surely be credited for getting the Ravens back into the playoffs after missing them in 2013. He’s Carolina’s all-time leader in receiving yards, receptions, and touchdowns. We’re glad to have him in the Purple and Black to finish out his career, and possibly do so with some jewelry.