The Ravens conducted their final practice of the season in Owings Mills on Saturday as wide receiver Torrey Smith celebrated his 24th birthday.
It’s been a difficult year personally for the second-year wideout following the tragic death of his younger brother Tevin in September, but Smith was surprised by a visit from his family on Friday night. Of course, a trip to New Orleans and his first Super Bowl certainly helps the University of Maryland product have reason to celebrate.
Just being able to see his teammates in the locker room for his birthday is a privilege when players from 30 other teams are already in full-offseason mode.
“It’s the best birthday,” Smith said. “I always joke around telling guys, ‘If you all see me on my birthday, it’s a great thing because my birthday’s always going to be after the AFC Championship.’ I’m happy to be here and my birthday actually fell on a good day this year because we have off [Sunday] so I can actually enjoy my birthday.”
The Ravens will depart for New Orleans on Monday afternoon after completing what felt like a regular week of practice.
The feeling around the Owings Mills training facility was relatively normal, but Smith knows the Ravens must be focused and prepared to deal with the hoopla of New Orleans next week, a city known more for its party atmosphere than even its impressive history.
“It’s weird because we still like we’re just preparing for a game,” said Smith about practicing in Owings Mills for the final day this season. “There are more cameras and stuff, but that doesn’t really mean much. We’ll go down there and they say it’s a little more hectic — Mardi Gras kinds of things and a lot of distractions going on — but I think we’re the right team to handle all the outside stuff and just stay focused on what we can control and that’s our play.”