Steve Smith, Joe Flacco using Starbucks to build rapport

In Carolina, Steve Smith told Aqib Talib to “ice up, son.” In Baltimore, he’s telling Joe Flacco, “iced coffee, son.”

Buried at the bottom of Peter King’s latest MMQB column is an interesting nugget about how Smith and Flacco are developing chemistry in training camp.

Take it away, Peter …

They wager $25 Starbucks cards when they disagree on on-field reads they have made. Case in point: Smith and Flacco viewed one adjusted Smith route differently, causing an errant throw; Smith said he was reading a Cover-2 alignment by the defense. Flacco said it was Cover-3. They went to the videotape. Flacco was right. They saw on video two corners covering the deep third of either side of the field, with the free safety dropping to cover the deep middle.

Thus far, King says, Flacco is up, two cards to one, with Smith paying up the next day.

Is it unconventional? Sure. But Smith — who enters the season locked in as the Ravens’ No. 2 wideout — will be heavily depended on for his crafty, veteran talents. Getting on the same page as his quarterback is crucial to Baltimore’s offensive success.

Though, if Smith really wants to win Flacco’s heart, he should swing by the golden arches.

(Photo credit: Baltimore Ravens) (Hat tip: Baltimore Sun)

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Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports,,, and Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (