Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead IV is now entering his fifth NFL season while also joining a new team. Snead IV was an undrafted rookie in 2014, signing with the Cleveland Browns, then the Carolina Panthers and eventually landing with the New Orleans Saints on December 11, 2014.
Playing in three seasons with the Saints, Snead provided a strong punch from the slot receiver position, totaling 149 receptions for 1,971 yards and seven touchdowns.
With the Arena Football League playing their championship game in Baltimore on Saturday night, Snead IV took in the sights and sounds. The 25-year old receiver was in attendance to watch his childhood friend, Jared Dangerfield, who is a wide receiver for the now-Arena Bowl champion Washington Valor.
”The arena game was cool,” Snead IV said after practice on Monday. “My good friend from back when we were jits, Jared Dangerfield, played for DC Valor. So, it was good to see them win and see him get them a championship.”
After living in New Orleans for three years, Snead IV is now in the Baltimore area during the season. He still hasn’t fully explore the area but does enjoy the scenery in the area.
”It’s been cool,” said Willie, on coming to the Baltimore area. “It really hasn’t been too bad. I’ve really just been sticking to myself, but the city is quiet, which is different than New Orleans, but I’m loving the atmosphere. I’m loving the change of scenery and everything with the forests and the valleys and everything like that. So, it’s been good. I’ve been enjoying myself and I’m just ready to play football here in a little bit.”
The former Saint isn’t the only new receiver on the block for the Ravens; joining him in their starting lineup is Michael Crabtree and John Brown, two fellow free agent wide receivers. Each receiver has a different ability in attacking the field. Crabtree is a big, physical receiver that can make catches at the highest point of attack. Brown can blow the top off coverage's and Snead IV makes plays across the middle of the field in the slot.
”It’s been great,” Snead IV said of joining Crabtree and Brown on the Ravens. “We’re coming out here every day to get better. Like you said, we all have different skill sets that make us unique in the offense. So, it’s just working those repetitions [working them out] and getting on the same page with Joe [Flacco] in different situations. That’s why we’re coming out here every day. We’re coming out here to get better at different things. You know, we just gotta watch the film and always learn from it and get better from it and it’ll prepare us when we need it the most.”
With the chance to have a bounce-back season with Baltimore, Snead IV has worked with Flacco during the offseason along with other wide receivers. The extra time between Willie, his quarterback and the other starting wide-outs has been repeatedly seen during training camp with the trio working with Flacco on the side during team drills.
As the quartet continues to build their chemistry, more success has been on display in the passing game. The Ravens ranked 29th in the NFL in passing in 2017 (3,030 passing yards) and although it is just practice, Baltimore can look almost nowhere but up.