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Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith Ready To Help Offense Soar

Posted Sep 4, 2017

If Washington cornerback Josh Norman plans on yapping at Alshon Jeffery during Sunday's season opener at FedEx Field, don't expect the Pro Bowl wide receiver to pay him much attention.

"I don't get into the talking game. ... I just play football," Jeffery said Monday. "I always feel that if someone is talking that means they respect your game. I just let my play do the talking."

One of Jeffery's final games as a member of the Chicago Bears came against Washington last December. Jeffery caught five passes for 92 yards. Norman, to his credit, had a pair of interceptions on poorly thrown balls by quarterback Matt Barkley as a result of the pass rush.

"He makes plays. He does a good job of being around the ball, breaking the ball up. Great player," Jeffery said. "I look forward to the challenge. I'm excited. I can't wait. We've played previous games and had some great matchups. I've got a good feel for how he plays. We'll see on Sunday."

Jeffery signed with the Eagles after five years with the Bears. He's got size (6-3), length (33-inch arms), and production. Jeffery is second in the league in first-down percentage, third in yards per catch, and fourth in 25-plus-yard receptions over the past four seasons.

"I can't wait. I'm excited. Sunday, we're going to go out and have some fun," he said.

Jeffery isn't the only veteran playmaker who was added to the receiver corps this offseason. Torrey Smith signed a three-year deal after spending the past two seasons in San Francisco. Since he was selected in the second round of the 2011 draft by the Ravens, Smith is second in the NFL in yards per catch and third in third-down receptions.

Jeffery and Smith were brought in to aid the development of second-year quarterback Carson Wentz. As a rookie in 2016, Wentz's top targets were tight end Zach Ertz, slot receiver Jordan Matthews, and running back Darren Sproles. Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor each had 36 receptions as the primary outside receivers.

"I'm excited about it. We had a great camp, had a great offseason altogether," Smith said. "Obviously, it's a marathon. It's important for us to get started on the right foot and I think that we'll do that."

Fans witnessed what each player brings to the table in their final preseason appearance against the Dolphins. Smith took the top off the defense with a 50-yard touchdown. Jeffery scored in the red zone on a 15-yard reception.

"I think we have a very talented receiver corps," Smith said, "but it doesn't matter if we don't perform well on Sundays. That's why we're working hard here now. The offseason's over with. It's time to go out there and show what we can do, try and get on the same page as quickly as possible, and ultimately have success."

Smith knows what it takes to win in the NFL. He earned a Super Bowl ring during his time in Baltimore. Even with an improved receiving corps, a win is not going to be easy on Sunday.

"It's the NFL. Every team is good. Every team has good players. Obviously, it's a division that's new to me," Smith said. "I know how important this game is division-wise. It all comes with the territory. If you can win those games, it helps you go a long way confidence-wise and obviously road games are hard to come by."

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