Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

L.J. feels 'renewed' with Ravens

Former Eagles tight end L.J. Smith is looking to prove his doubters wrong as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

L.J. feels 'renewed' with Ravens

Former Eagles tight end L.J. Smith is looking to prove his doubters wrong as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

“I feel like I’m renewed, that I have a new spirit,” Smith told Mike Duffy of baltimoreravens.com. “I feel like I’m in a place where I can hopefully reach my potential. People would say, ‘Oh, he hasn’t reached his potential, blah, blah, blah.’

“Hopefully, I can do that here and help this team get to a place we all want to be, and that’s the Super Bowl.”

Smith, who missed four games last season and six in 2007, took issue with critics assigning him with the injury label.

“It was kind of nerve-wracking,” Smith said. “The last few years, I’ve dealt with injuries, which makes [free agency] frustrating. That was one of the red flags about me in the market. It’s just something you have to deal with as a player.

“I always worked hard during the offseason for the regular season, so it wasn’t about getting ready at all with me. They were just freak accidents. But, I’m here, and I’m in a good spot.”

In other news...

** The NFL owners have voted to change the way draft order is decided, according to John Clayton of ESPN.com. The order for non-playoff teams remains the same. It will be decided by regular-season record. The change takes effect for playoff teams. Losers in the wild-card round will have picks 21 through 24, based on record. Losers in the divisional round get picks 25 through 28. The championship game losers get 29 and 30, followed by the Super Bowl loser and of course the champ. The change would have affected the Eagles this year. The Birds got the 21st pick for finishing 9-6-1 last season. Under the new format, they would have gotten the 29th pick for getting to the NFC championship. Per Clayton, the new order will take place in 2010.

** Terrell Owens will receive the Alzheimer's Association's first Young Champions Award in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night, which partially could explain why he's not at Bills' voluntary workouts. I was told by reader Rajiv to post this item because T.O. is made out to be a villain too often. So there you go.

** And finally, cornerback Donald Strickland has agreed to terms with the New York Jets, according to profootballtalk.com. Strickland spent time with the Eagles in 2005.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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