When wide receiver Steve Smith signed with the Eagles in August, it looked like some spice was added to one of the NFL's best rivalries.
But as Smith prepares to face his former team, the New York Giants, this Sunday, he's not adding any hype to the matchup.
"That's not a big deal to me. It's just another week. I'm with the Eagles now, so I'm ready to go play. I'm just happy to be playing football," Smith said. "No matter who the opponent is I'm going to have a great time out there."
Smith was a second-round pick of the Giants in 2007. He won the Super Bowl with them as a rookie. He earned a Pro Bowl selection two years later after leading the NFC in catches with 107. Even after Smith's 2010 season ended abruptly due to a knee injury, it appeared that the wide receiver would re-sign with the Giants.
"They know what kind of player I am. They've seen me for years," Smith said. "I'm just thankful to be able to play right now and be healthy."
However, the Giants had some reservations about when Smith would be ready to return after undergoing a microfracture procedure. The Eagles, confident that Smith would be ready to contribute early, stepped up and added the dynamic receiver to an already talented and deep stable of wideouts.
"I enjoyed the coaches there. They're a great team, great organization," Smith said. "Things didn't work out, so I'm here now and I'm ready to ball."
Smith has played in each of the Eagles' first two games in 2011. He notched his first two catches as an Eagle for 29 yards Sunday night against Atlanta.
For years, Smith was on the other side of the Eagles-Giants rivalry and knew what how tough it was to come into Lincoln Financial Field wearing enemy colors and play. Now, he's glad to be able to embrace the fans of Philadelphia.
"It's exciting. These fans are different out here. They love football and it's important to them," Smith said. "I'm familiar with this rivalry because I was on the other side, but now I'm in an Eagles uniform so I think I'll be fine."
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider