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August 02, 2023

Eytan Shander: Randy Moss sees something special in Eagles' WR DeVonta Smith

Are Eagles fans sleeping on DeVonta Smith?

Eagles NFL

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Make mine a No. 6.

As the Philadelphia Eagles finally released their Kelly Green jerseys, people swarmed to the Linc with tailgates resembling game day. The biggest question is which jersey will you get, now that you can get the jersey of all jerseys. 

I’ll take my XL with Smith on the back. 

This season brings an incredible amount of excitement manifested in expectation. We have a lot to look forward to as fans of a team that looks incredible on paper, right up to the runner up for the league MVP. Think of your excitement as a pie chart rather than an answer to a poll question. While Jalen Hurts will be the majority slice, let’s not overlook what DeVonta Smith is on the cusp of doing, and one of the greatest receivers of all time has taken notice. 

Smith enters his third year in a league in which he’s already proven he can thrive.  The individual growth of Smith came with the addition of Brown, not at the expense of it as both players put up monster numbers. Whoever thought there couldn’t be a couple of Batmans on this team was dead wrong.

Unlike Brown – no fault of his own – Smith was handpicked by this organization to break the mold and bad funk of a recent trend. It’s not often highly drafted receivers work out in Philadelphia, and people were right to be concerned about this fit. Even if Smith failed here people wouldn’t be shocked to see him move on elsewhere. 

That’s not going to happen as we all collectively exhaled following his rookie year and began to live comfortably knowing this kid is going to be special. Smith has a chance to break the mold of a homegrown Philadelphia Eagles talent and set the record straight. 

He’s going to set records while he’s at it. 

This is one of the most amazing things to see in the history of our beloved franchise, a player normally failing in a spot that not only thrives, but also sets franchise records along the way. Get ready as year three only promises more of the same – exhilarating catches deep down field and ultimate speed bursts that are impossible to stop – combined with a huge amount of “I can’t wait to see what he does next!”

We are watching the greatest Eagles receiver to come out of the draft in the history of this franchise. It’s one of the biggest storylines that will continue to drive this team for years to come. He’s an amazing talent and fun kid to watch. It’s as effortless to root for him as it is for him to get behind any defender. He works well with others – as evident by the production of both Brown and Dallas Goedert – and has a certain chemistry with Hurts. 

These are all things noticed by one of the greatest to ever do it.

This past weekend Randy Moss brought his talents to Philadelphia – his entrepreneur talent to be exact. It’s here in our city where Moss comes to help grow Chick-A-Boom to a national brand. As the Honey Buffalo sauce ran down the side of my mouth, the Hall of Fame receiver looked me right in the eyes and said, “No days off”. It was in direct response to the question of what Randy Moss can offer Smith. 

“We get one day ‘off’, Tuesday," he said, "we don’t physically go to the field. But that doesn't mean you don’t come to work, get your film – get whatever you need – that’s what I mean by no days off.”

Like Moss, Smith came in skinny and immediately put a stamp on the league. The increase in productivity last year with the arrival of Brown is a tremendous positive. Hurts and the offense have enough throws in them to spread numbers around the field. Smith hasn’t missed a game in his first two seasons despite rampant concern about him being too skinny for contact. Moss played his first six years without missing a single regular season game. 

No, this isn’t a direct comparison and push for Smith to be the next Moss, but he’s rooting for Smith to shine even brighter and for even longer. 

“I think the great ones – the great ones, not receivers, the great ones – all positions, even the long snappers, a kicker – the great ones know, no days off.” Moss continued with a simple message about the importance of focus during early success. 

There are no off days even on your day off, something like that resonates with anyone driven by their passion – be it a former Heisman winner or restauranteur carving her name in the industry. 

Smith is in a perfect position to grow with the Eagles and all of us around him. We love the swagger and honesty rolled up in Brown; the refreshing comments and exhilarating plays will always resonate with this fanbase. But his is a different path, not good or bad – just different. Smith was drafted with high hopes in a round and position that have doomed this team, but so far Smith has broken the mold. 

As we all anticipate Tyrese Maxey dealt in some ridiculous trade just to move the bloated contract of James Harden or watch the continued platooning of Bryson Stott – the Phillies 2nd (?) best offensive player – let’s celebrate a young star that’s not going anywhere but up.  

There’s just so much right now surrounding the Eagles that Smith might fly a little under the radar. That’s certainly not going to be the case this year for opposing defenses, as teams know they need to limit him on multiple levels. 

Will it work? You already know the answer. 

Nobody overcomes size issues to play at one of the most prestigious football programs of all time, goes out and wins the Heisman Trophy, drafted in the first round and actually works out for the Eagles, comes back alongside another No. 1 and drops nearly 1,200 yards on defenses off 95 grabs – all by taking days off. 


There are a lot of things to be excited about with this new Eagles team – especially the large presence that Hurts carries on and off the field. I can’t wait to watch Smith grow into one of the league’s small handful of top receivers, all while doing it in a crisp Kelly Green. This is just the start of a long career that keeps both defensive coordinators and Birds fans up all night – albeit for different reasons. 

One of the greatest receivers of all time sees it in Smith.

Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow

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