DeVonta Smith ready to start season
The Philadelphia Eagles were a disappointment last season, finishing the campaign with an abysmal 4-11-1 record. The franchise is hoping that with the changes made during the offseason and the players brought into the squad, the team will be much more competitive on the field this year. One of the biggest acquisitions that the Eagles made this summer was picking up the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith in the NFL Draft.
The Eagles selected Smith with the 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, looking to bolster their offense with one of the most dangerous wide receivers on the planet. The Eagles even completed a trade with the Dallas Cowboys to move up two spots in the draft in order to select Smith. On Sunday, the youngster makes his NFL debut against the Atlanta Falcons.
“Just control what I can control, do my job,” he told members of the media when asked about expectations for his rookie season, via PhiladelphiaEagles.com. “When you control what you can control, everything is going to work out for you. Just focus on the task at hand.”
Despite being just 22 years old, the Eagles already have big plans for Smith as they look to utilize his talents as much as possible this season. However, it is always difficult to predict how rookie wide receivers will perform at the highest level.
“DeVonta is going to have a big role on this team,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said. “We talk about that all the time. We talked about that today and one of the things we talk about with the team a lot is, ‘What are the things that are going to prevent you from getting better every single day?’ That is the goal at the end of the day, is to continue to make these gains of getting better every single day, because that’s going to lead you to where you want to go. Staying level-headed, know that you have to come to work every single day, regardless of what you did the day before. That’s also similar to what we talk about when we talk about ‘dog mentality.’ I think the players know that.
“There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t go over those things with the players.”
Sirianni was hired in January to replace Doug Pederson, who was fired after five seasons with the club. Sirianni does have some big shoes to fill though, as Pederson led the Eagles to their first and only Super Bowl triumph in 2017. Pederson finished his time in Philadelphia with a 46-39-1 (.541) career record.
Since then, Philadelphia have only been able to muster one playoff win.
The future is looking bright though for one of the youngest teams in the NFL. It remains to be seen whether Smith will be able to live up to the hype of a Heisman Trophy winner, but he is certainly coming into the campaign with the right attitude.
“I can only control what I can control,” he said.