After suffering a concussion in the first preseason game against the Patriots, defensive end Bryan Smith had to sit out the second game against the Colts. It was frustrating for Smith, a third-round draft pick in 2008, because he wants to get on the field as much as possible to prove himself as a football player.
So when he was able to get back on the field against the Jaguars, Smith wanted to make a positive impression. And he did so in a way that even he wasn't expecting - he got an interception.
"That was my first one," Smith said. Never before in his entire football playing career had he registered a pick. "I saw the ball bounce up; it was a live ball, so I just kept running for it. Long story short, I just wanted to get it.
It felt pretty good, but it would have felt a lot better if I could have gotten in and scored. But the offense got some points out of it, so it wasn't a total loss."
Smith is fighting to make waves in one of the most talented positions on the Eagles roster. With veterans like Trent Cole, Victor Abiamiri, Juqua Parker, Darren Howard, and Chris Clemons seemingly entrenched on the team, Smith and newcomer Jason Babin are trying to make a name for themselves. Smith's performance against the Jags was a step in the right direction.
"It felt real good to get back out there, make plays, and show my coaches and my teammates that I can still play," Smith said. "I thought I played pretty good.
"But there's still room for improvement. I just have to go out this week against the Jets and just improve in all the things I need improvement on ... It's real difficult because you have to make plays when you're out there, you just have to give it your all in order to get seen."
Even though Smith finally notched his first career interception, he knows his value to the team comes from getting upfield.
"Just do more with the pass rush because I think that's a big part of our defense," Smith said of his goals this week against the Jets. "Being able to rush the quarterback - if I can do that, I'll be an asset to the team."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 11:25 a.m., August 31