Torrey Smith has heard it before. About three months after the wide receiver was drafted, the Ravens released three popular and productive offensive players, and Smith remembers the talk that the team was headed for some struggles.

"They had cut [Derrick] Mason, [Todd] Heap and Willis McGahee [and] everybody was panicking and saying, ‘Oh, you’re going to be terrible,’” Smith said Saturday before hosting his charity basketball game at Stafford High School, his alma mater. “We were a couple of plays away from the Super Bowl. You just have to trust the guy."

‘The guy’ is Ravens’ general manager Ozzie Newsome, who has built two Super Bowl championship teams. However, it hasn’t been an easy ride for Newsome and the Ravens since they beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, to capture Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3.

The Ravens have already lost eight key players from that team, including six on the defense. That group, of course, is headed by linebacker Ray Lewis, who retired following his 17th season, and safety Ed Reed, who signed with the Houston Texans on Friday.

"I think the hardest thing for the fans is just the connection between the guys that we lost,” Smith said. “We lost Ray, and also Ed, who were icons and Anquan [Boldin] played a great role over the past few years, and Bernard Pollard plays like a Raven. It takes a lot out of the fans, but it’s just the business side of it, and they get to experience it first-hand. We’ll be fine.”

Fullback Vonta Leach, one of several of Smith’s teammates at Saturday’s event, feels that reports of the Ravens’ demise are premature.

"Games still have to be played,” Leach said. “They’re going to put the schedule out, and I’ll make sure we’re going to be ready.”

Leach was cut by the Houston Texans two offseasons ago despite being considered one of the best fullbacks in the NFL, so by now, nothing in the league surprises him, not even a mass exodus from a Super Bowl-winning team.