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The Ravens’ unofficial player workouts featured the debut of big-play rookie wide receivers Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss.
But there was another wideout looming large – literally.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound James Hardy – a 2008 second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills – was one of the new faces at Towson University on Tuesday. And according to reporters watching the workouts, he looked “impressive.”
“I feel I can bring the deep threat. That is something that I specialized in in college,” Hardy told reporters following Tuesday’s workout.
“Unfortunately, due to injuries, I wasn’t able to showcase that in Buffalo. Everything is healthy, I’m back 100 percent. Now I’m just ready to go, ready to work.”
The Ravens quietly signed Hardy to a Reserve/Future contract on Jan. 11, while they were in the midst of the playoffs.
After two seasons derailed by a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, Hardy was released by the Buffalo Bills at the end of training camp in 2010. In 16 games, Hardy had just 10 receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
Hardy said he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder, however. He was actually grateful for the lessons he learned from Terrell Owens on how to be a hard-working professional behind closed doors.
“I don’t have to have any organization let me go to have more motivation than what I have inside already,” Hardy said. “Unfortunately, they didn’t believe and Baltimore did.”
The Indiana product put up staggering numbers in college, averaging more than 14.2 yards per catch in each of his three seasons and notching double-digit touchdowns each year. In his 2007 senior campaign, Hardy logged 79 receptions for 1,125 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Smith (6-foot-0) and Doss (6-foot-2) are each expected to contribute to the Ravens’ wideout corps next season. But Hardy at least has a size advantage in a competition with the rookies.
“I don’t think about height. I just think about ability and who wants it more,” Hardy said. “I’ve just got to dominate [whatever cornerback's] in front of me, no matter what size they are.”