Smith was targeted four times and had a chance for at least one reception but when the full 60 minutes were drained off a 38-35 win, Smith finished with the goose eggs on the scoresheet, not exactly a familiar feeling for the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner and the Eagles’ franchise record holder for rookie receiving yards.
On Thursday Smith was asked about the unchartered territory at his locker and played the good soldier as he was peppered with questions about the lack of traffic.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Smith said coyly.
The Eagles’ passing offense was expected to run through A.J. Brown and Dallas Goedert first and that was the case in Detroit, with the former piling up 10 receptions in 13 targets for 155 yards, the latter a franchise record for a player making his debut.
All receivers are at the mercy of the vehicle getting them the football and Hurts is instructed to get the football to his top progressions if they are open.
For that reason, Smith went to a familiar football cliche to explain his mood.
“I can’t control if the ball’s coming to me or not, so you always have to do your job, always do the right thing and if it comes to you make a play,” the 23-year-old wideout said.
Perhaps Monday night against Minnesota will shift things in Smith’s direction because both head coach Nick Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen acknowledged they have to be more disciplined in efforting to get Smith more touches.
“The plan was to go out there and execute our game plan,” Smith said of the Detroit game. “It just happened to be [Brown’s] day. Any day it can be anybody’s day … You never know whose day it’s going to be.”
Winning generally stems any frustration and getting out of Detroit with the dub, no matter how ugly, was important.
For now, Smith was willing to take his share of the blame for the whitewash.
“I feel I was a little sloppy,” he admitted. “I feel like I could’ve been a lot better.”
Asked to expand on the sloppiness Smith added: “Just first game, just going out there, you don’t know quite what to expect with your first opponent because you don’t know if they’re going to run the same thing.”
There are a lot of unknowns in the modern NFL when it comes to Week 1.
“You don’t have too much film to watch,” Smith explained. “It’s hard to just go out there and go off what you see on film because the film might not be as accurate.”