This is not what I wanted to write about this offseason. My last article was about the issue the Ravens were having this off-season with four arrests. Now, as we get ready for rookies to start training camp, comes a 5th arrest for the Purple and Black.
After Jimmy Smith was arrested late Saturday night and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, it’s time for the Ravens to do more than just dish out words.
During the last day of the Ravens mandatory minicamp in June, John Harbaugh said, “We will always have the same high standard for our guys, and it’s the same message. … And we’ve emphasized what we need to with our guys. We have good, really good guys. Football matters to them. The more it matters to you, the less inclined you are to do anything to jeopardize that.”
Those are great words from the leader of the football team. But apparently not all the players got the message.
Think about it… if football was what truly mattered to Jimmy Smith on Saturday night, he would have seen the cops coming and listened to them. Instead, he took the chance of jeopardizing football by being confrontational with the police… even saying to them, according to the police report, “What the ____ are you gonna do? ____ you, what the ___ are you gonna do? I’m Jimmy Smith. I play for the Ravens.”
That’s going to help you?
That’s the sort of attitude that I can’t stand. That’s the sort of attitude that I wish John Harbaugh would sit down and lecture. Those remarks alone are enough for me to want the Ravens to suspend Smith. That entitlement angers me more than anything.
So Harbaugh has said all the right things this off-season in response to the five arrests, but now it’s time for action. Someone needs to be disciplined by the Ravens to send a message that this will not be tolerated.
Many Ravens fans took to Twitter and Facebook this weekend saying that Jimmy Smith’s arrest was not a big deal, that he was released and only given a citation. But an arrest or jail time is not the issue. The issue is the players need to learn to stay out of trouble.
If a Steelers player was in the same situation as Jimmy Smith, would Ravens fans still say it’s a non-issue?
Admit it Ravens fans, you would be laughing at the Steelers and giving them a hard time just like the fans of every other NFL team are doing to the Ravens right now.
I’m not defending my team anymore. I’m ticked off at the 5 arrests this offseason. No matter how little or big those arrests are, that is what defines your team. I’ve made fun of the Bengals and Raiders in the past for their troubles with the law, but no more.
Now, I’m fed up with my own team.
WJZ’s Mark Viviano always has the best perspective. He tweeted:
Bingo RT @MarkWJZ: Basic obligations of NFL player Stay in shape Study ur craft Stay out of trouble Not asking much but #3 seems difficult
— Joe Polek on Sports (@JPonSports) July 13, 2014
He is right.
Players need to realize that their window of time to play in the NFL is very small… 10 years, maybe for the great players, 3 years for the average players. For that amount of time, they need to concentrate on one thing… making themselves better football players. The “fun” and partying can happen after.
It’s time for Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome, and Steve Biscotti, to step up and do something about these issues.
Words obviously are not enough.