Torrey Smith was a recent guest host on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football. Along with the regular co-hosts, the panel served up day-to-day NFL analysis. The group also took on various other topics, one of which was “dining experiences”. Torrey chimed in, with a plug for Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, and explained that one of his favorite delicacies is Maryland steamed crabs.
To paraphrase, Torrey explained that not only is the meal a tasty one, it’s also social and given the accompanying messiness that goes with eating steamed crabs, one of the side benefits is that no one is at the table on their phones. I hadn’t given that any thought before, but while dining with friends over a table stacked with heavily spiced crustaceans at Conrad’s in Perry Hall on Saturday evening, Torrey’s sentiments were definitely in the forefront of my mind.
I remember when Torrey was introduced to the Baltimore sports media as one of the newest members of the Ravens following his selection by Ozzie Newsome with the 58th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Torrey shared the dais with first-round pick Jimmy Smith who fell to the Ravens at No. 27 due to character concerns. Reporters repeatedly questioned him about those off-the-field issues. Torrey, having heard enough, jumped in.
“I’ve had the opportunity to get know Jimmy myself over the process. He’s a great guy. The way the media tries to portray him, that’s not him. He’s a great guy. He’s down to earth. The things are in the past. I feel like people should focus more so on what he’s about to do from this day forward.”
That was a bold move for a 22-year-old player who had not yet signed a contract. Yet it was indicative of the role model and leader that Torrey would become.
Back in 2013, I was highly critical of Tandon Doss and posted an article expressing my opinions on the receiver’s substandard play. Torrey noticed the article and came at me pretty hard on Twitter, suggesting that I made the article personal – that I somehow crossed the line of objective analysis and attacked Doss’ character.
I didn’t see it that way, and I still don’t today.
“I have nothing personally against Tandon Doss. I don’t even know the man personally. My criticisms are based on the way he’s played, the things he’s said and the things others have said about him.”
The point here is how Torrey stood up for Doss, just like he did for Jimmy a couple of years prior. It was a testament to his character. It was yet another act that supported his college coach Ralph Friedgen’s opinion that Torrey is “the perfect human being”.
As you know, Torrey has been part of the WJZ’s Purple Playbook with Mark Viviano and Rick Ritter for a few years. I don’t know if he aspires to take that next step to broaden his broadcasting skills on a national level. But what I do know is that wherever his second career takes him he’ll do it with consideration and respect for others while handling himself with grace and style.
That’s who he is. That’s how he was raised.
And that’s how Torrey Smith will always be.