When DeVonta Smith came to the Eagles in 2021, he came with sky-high expectations as the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since Desmond Howard.
In his first year, DeVonta Smith met those expectations and then some, recording the most yards ever gained by an Eagles receiver in his first year.
To his teammates, year two is expected to be even better.
Speaking to reporters before DeVonta Smith’s charity softball game, Eagles’ tight end, Dallas Goedert, and cornerback, Avonte Maddox, spoke about the expectations Smith has and what they have seen from the Alabama product.
“From my standpoint on the defensive side of the ball, he’s a hard worker. He always looks to perfect his craft each and every day. He’s the first one in and the last one out. Even if it’s catching extra balls, studying film. Again, he has great character on and off the field. He’s a great leader in our building.” Maddox said.
“Just as a route-runner, fine tuning things, a little bit more detailed. Like any year, you grow and develop and get better.” Goedert responded.
Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith were the main receiving threats on an offense predicated on running the football and taking their chances with first year starter, Jalen Hurts. With the offseason addition of AJ Brown, Goedert sees this offense growing even more dangerous.
“Adding a receiver like AJ Brown, a player with his skillset, he’s going to be complementing Smitty really well. All of us are excited to add him to the building, but seeing DeVonta going from year one into this offseason. He’s come a long way. I’m excited to watch him and he’s going to do a lot of special things.“
Smith has had a long history of being a relentless worker both on and off the field. His charity softball game drew a large crowd of Eagles fans and non-Eagles fans with Micah Parsons and other non-Eagles’ players in attendance.
With an event like that though, both Maddox and Goedert saw it as an opportunity to bond.
“I think it makes the team closer. Just in everything you do, if you’re closer to the person, it’s easier to compete against them, and it’s easier to play for them. With my relationship with Avonte, I’m going to give a little bit more on the field, because I care for him. Football is the ultimate team game so I feel like the closest teams have a slight edge.” Goedert said.
Having a team that is close together and bonding is an important part of this stage of the offseason. Having leaders like Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith is even more so.
And if Maddox and Goedert are to be believed, it should be a huge year incoming for Smitty.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire