Baltimore's depth at wide receiver was one of the biggest concerns coming into training camp. Part of the reason the team missed the playoffs in 2013 was its lack of capable pass-catchers behind Torrey Smith. No other Ravens receiver had more than 524 receiving yards.
Baltimore receivers also caught only 13 touchdowns, and 11 of them were shared between Smith and Marlon Brown.
This offseason, Baltimore bolstered its wide receiver depth by signing former Carolina Panthers Pro Bowler Steve Smith. Not only did that give the Ravens another capable wide receiver, but it also gave them a strong veteran presence at that position who can mentor the younger receivers.
Torrey Smith had this to say, via The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson:
You can definitely see the fire. 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. I guess if you're not used to a guy who's passionate about his job, it comes off as raunchy, but it fits here. He's perfect for us, and we're glad he's here.
Steve Smith may be 35 years old, but he has looked like he's back in his 20s at points during training camp and the preseason thus far.
That was evident during the Ravens' Week 3 win over the Washington Redskins. At the end of the second quarter, Baltimore was driving with the chance to break a 3-3 tie.
With 25 seconds left in the quarter, Smith got open deep. Joe Flacco threw a bomb intended for Smith that was slightly underthrown, but Smith was able to adjust and make a diving grab for a 30-yard score to put the team up 10-3 going into halftime.
Smith has had a career that may put him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday. He is the Panthers' all-time leader in catches (836), receiving yards (12,197) and touchdowns (67), and he ranks 19th in NFL history in receptions.
Thus far, it doesn't look like age has caused his skills to deteriorate significantly, which means he alone will significantly boost the depth at wide receiver.