Wide receiver Steve Smith enjoyed breakout season with the Giants in 2009 when he caught 107 balls for 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns in 2009. The Pro Bowl receiver was primed to build upon that success last season, but a knee injury cut his season short. He's worked all offseason to get his knee in playing condition and on Saturday his hard work finally paid off.
The fifth-year receiver participated in his first practice as an Eagle after agreeing to terms on a one-year deal on August 10. Smith was excited to get back on the field for the first time since December 13, when the Giants played a game in Detroit against the Vikings due to the Metrodome collapse.
"I'd been staying after practice and working with Mike Kafka," Smith said. "But it was good getting out there to run some routes, hearing Michael Vick call the plays, and catching some balls from him."
Despite his exuberance, Smith knows he still has some work to do before September 11.
"I feel fast, I feel good," the shifty receiver said following practice Saturday. "The real test will be in-game, against press coverage, when I'm getting pushed against. I'm not in football shape, yet. The only way to get in that kind of condition is to just play football, so I still have some work to do. It should be about 4-6 weeks before I'm truly 100 percent, but I definitely feel good out there right now."
A Pro Bowl selection in 2009, the 5-11 Smith said he's on schedule with what doctors expected following his injury last season.
"I'm really excited," Smith said of his progress. "We've just been taking it slowly, being cautious. I haven't had any setbacks. When I had the surgery, the Giants said they wanted me back for the final preseason game, so I'm right where I should be."
While he likely won't play in the final preseason game this Thursday against the Jets, Smith remains confident that he will be available for the regular season opener. If Steve Smith can contribute come Week 1 in St. Louis, Eagles fans will have enjoy yet another weapon on an offense that already is full of them.
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