The Baltimore Ravens signed veteran wide receiver Steve Smith this past season after the Carolina Panthers let him go, but he has already made the news twice for fights during practice with his new team.
According to a report from Pro Football Talk, Smith got into a fight with defensive back Chykie Brown during a physical blocking drill.
Smith had a history of getting into fights with the Panthers, and even got suspended and briefly jailed after breaking a teammates orbital bone.
This type of news is never good for a team, but the Ravens did know what they were getting themselves into when they signed Smith. He is a fierce competitor, but unfortunately he doesn’t understand how to lose a bit of that competitiveness when he is facing his teammates. It’s going to be interesting to see how he fits with the Ravens when the regular season hits, but the Ravens need to figure out how to keep him out of trouble before the season even starts.
Smith played in 15 regular season games with the Panthers last season, catching 64 passes for 745 yards and four touchdowns. He is known as a leader both on the field and in the locker room, but has had quite a few issues running into teammates throughout his career. The Ravens are hoping that he will give the passing game some stability, and that he will work well with quarterback Joe Flacco.
There is no doubt that this is going to be an interesting season for both Smith and the Ravens. This is the first season that he has played anywhere but Carolina, and the Ravens are a completely different organization than the Panthers. Smith will likely end up fitting just fine, but it isn’t a good idea for him to begin making enemies on his new team.
Overall, the Ravens are going to need to figure out a way of keeping Smith in check over the next few weeks. His attitude isn’t something that can be handled too lightly, as it obviously will flare up again in the future. That being said, he is going to have to play a huge role for the Ravens this season if they want to compete for a playoff spot in a very tough AFC.