Late for Work 6/15: Smith: Ochocinco’s Too Smart; Yall Don’t Even Realize

Plus, who’s more valuable: Kindle or J. Smith? And can Flacco be the franchise QB?

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 at 10:08 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Smith: Ochocinco’s Too Smart; Yall Don’t Even Realize

Usually better known for his off-the-field antics like bull riding and ballroom dancing, Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco isn’t typically credited for his football intelligence.

That is, not until Ravens rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith got the chance to make his acquaintance.

Tweeting at Ochocinco, Smith wrote, “im learning from this guy..he’s too smart and yall dont even realize it.”

Ochocinco responded, “Oh yes grasshopper.”

It’s unclear where Smith and Ochocinco have met, but Smith recently tweeted that he needed to go down to Miami, Fl. to train for a week or so. Ochocinco was in the area yesterday working out with Drew Rosenhaus clients.

Ochocinco can be seen working out in this video shot by Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo along with several other NFL and Ravens players, including Donte’ Stallworth¬† and Michael Oher.

Enjoy the video, and in the meantime, perhaps Smith will shed a little more Twitter light on what he’s learning from the 11-year veteran.

Who’s More Valuable: Kindle Or J. Smith?

Despite BaltimoreRavens.com’s John Eisenberg’s caution not to do so, a number of Ravens fans are letting themselves get carried away with the news that Sergio Kindle has been cleared to play football again.

Maybe “Sergio Kindle” himself is dreaming too big.

A fan using the name “Sergio Kindle” wrote in an ESPN chat with James Walker, “Be afraid, Pittsburgh, be very afraid!”

“Good to hear you’re medically cleared, Sergio,” Walker responded, playing along with the joke. “But let’s save the trash talk for now. Just focus on getting healthy and shaking the rust. By the way, if/when you get to Ben Roethlisberger, finish the play, because he’s pretty tough to bring down. Ask your teammate: Terrell Suggs.”

If the lockout ends in time, the 2011 season will start off with a bang when Baltimore and Pittsburgh face off in Week 1. Walker urged fans not to get “crazy” thinking Kindle will be ready for that matchup, saying the team first needs to see how he responds to contact.

Considering his uncertain future, perhaps it would be equally “crazy” to think Kindle is more valuable than cornerback Jimmy Smith. But one fan thought it was worth at least asking the question.

“Right now Jimmy Smith [is more valuable], because he is not as big an unknown and he’s a starter,” wrote Walker. “Smith played football last year and doesn’t have to shake off any rust. In terms of pure talent, he may already be Baltimore’s No. 1 corner as a rookie.

“Kindle needs to prove he can take full contact again, which will be scary for him and the Ravens at first.”

A year from now, after seeing how Kindle responds and Smith performs, this could be a very intriguing question. A futile question (since they play for the same defense), but an intriguing one nonetheless.

Landry A Top 10 Potential Free-Agent Safety

It’s a good thing the Ravens have two potential strong safety starters (Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura) behind Dawan Landry.

Should he become an unrestricted free agent, Landry continues to be a player that analysts believe will be highly sought after.

Landry was slated at No. 8 on USA Today’s 2011 top 10 potential free-agent safeties list.

“He doesn’t have the talent of younger brother LaRon, who plays for the Redskins, but Landry has been a reliable starter since he entered the league,” wrote Nate Davis.

Barring the 2008 season when Landry suffered a neck injury and missed 14 games, the six-year veteran has been the main starter alongside future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed. But in the past, the Ravens have allowed Reed’s backfield partners, like Jim Leonhard and Will Demps, to leave Baltimore.

The seven other potential free-agent safeties USA Today ranks ahead of Landry are: Dashon Goldson, Roman Harper, Michael Huff, Eric Weddle, Quintin Mikell, Danieal Manning and Donte Whitner.

Will Flacco Be The Franchise QB Everyone Wants Him To Be?

32 in 32: Ravens
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NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks says Joe Flacco will become the “franchise quarterback” everyone wants him to be when he has more playoff success.

Brooks points out that Flacco’s completion percentage (53.3), touchdown-to-interception ratio (four TDs to seven picks) and passer rating (61.6) during seven playoff games are a significant drop off from his regular-season stats

“While numbers don’t always paint an accurate picture when evaluating a player’s ability, Flacco’s significant drop in production in the postseason is hard to ignore when assessing his potential to be the face of the franchise,” wrote Brooks.

“The team scaled back the number of passing plays when it needed to win down the stretch, and the offense appeared to operate better when the running game was the primary catalyst. That doesn’t suggest the presence of a franchise quarterback, and that is why the jury is still out on Flacco. While he has an impressive regular-season record, he has underperformed in big games and must prove to his teammates and others that he is a clutch player.”

Quick Hits

  • Michael Oher did not make ESPN’s Top 10 NFL left tackles list. However AFC North foe Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns came in at No. 1. After Thomas was Jake Long, Ryan Clady, Jordan Gross. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Michael Roos, Jason Peters, Marcus McNeill, Donald Penn and Matt Light.
  • “One source with intimate knowledge of the discussions tells me [CBA] negotiations are 80-85 percent complete,” wrote Mike Freeman. [CBSSports.com]
  • One of the top 10 worst games of 2010? The wild card matchup between the Ravens and Chiefs. “There were a lot of people pumped for this AFC Wild Card, myself included,” wrote Elliot Harrison. “That was until Matt Cassel played like a guy that held the clipboard his entire college career.” [NFL.com]
  • BaltimoreMD: Very excited to present our visit with Coach John Harbaugh @1winningdrive. Take a look. [Twitter/YouTube]

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