Mike Wallace understands the void, and plans to fill it.
“I just have to curse a couple more people out, choke a couple more people out,” Wallace said, via ESPN.com. “I was telling (receivers coach) Bobby Engram last meeting that I’ve got to come back in with a different attitude and I’ve got to start pushing people around a little bit more because Steve isn’t going to be here and somebody has to do it. So, I’m going to take over that role. Breshad (Perriman), if he gets out of line, I’m going to smack him up a little bit.”
It remains to be seen how desperately the Ravens will need a Smith replacement in their offense this year. After all, the team was first in the NFL in passing attempts last year and 30th in rushing attempts, a discrepancy new assistant head coach and former Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman is trying to repair.
They will need to fill the attitude gap. Regardless of what the Ravens say, there was a dropoff in the identity department after Ray Lewis retired a few years back. Smith might be the only player we’ve seen in the last decade to come close to Lewis’ bravado on the field. If Wallace is really up for the challenge, he’ll have to start doing some people like dirt.