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Spadaro: DeVonta Smith on a tear in high-flying Eagles passing game

DeVonta Smith
DeVonta Smith

In the midst of wide receiver A.J. Brown's history-making six-game streak of 125-plus receiving yards, there were times reporters would circle the locker of fellow wide receiver DeVonta Smith and ask him about the numbers and his own production and how the two melded.

And Smith never wavered, not a single time. He was happy for his friend and next-locker-over-mate Brown, and he was confident that both players would have plenty of opportunities to eat over the course of the 2023 season.

"You just keep working hard and doing your job and you're going to get your chances," Smith said. "It isn't about my numbers or his numbers. We've said this before: It is about the team winning games and doing what we can do to help win games. If that means I'm catching a lot of passes, that's great. If I'm doing other things, I'm going to do those things to the best of my ability and I'm going to be happy helping us win.

"Winning is the bottom line."

Well, the Eagles have won this season to date, 10 times in their 11 outings. And Smith has been eating – gobbling up 23 passes for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns in wins over Washington, Dallas, Kansas City, and Buffalo.

Nobody is questioning his touches.

"You have to be patient and that's it," said Smith, who has 55 receptions for 738 yards and 5 touchdowns in his third season here. "I never worry about getting the football. It's going to come my way, and when it does, I have a job to do."

That job involves keeping the offense moving and teaming with Brown to form a potent 1-2 receiving duo. Smith has been everything the Eagles hoped he would be when they moved up in the 2021 NFL Draft to select him No. 10 overall. Smith set a franchise record for rookies in that first year with 916 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns on 64 catches.

Last season, Smith set an Eagles wide receiver record with 95 receptions that he turned into 1,196 yards and 7 scores. Smith and Brown both eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark and worked together seamlessly. Having two receivers as talented as Smith and Brown has been nothing but a positive in an era of football where some receivers have challenges sharing the targets.

Not Smith. Not Brown.

"Not an issue and never has been," Smith said earlier this season.

As the Eagles prepare for San Francisco on Sunday, they know that the 49ers are weighing the difficultly of handling both great receivers. The two have played off of each other's skill sets so beautifully these two seasons and there is more to come. This is the stretch run and the Eagles need both receivers to threaten defenses.

"That's what we do every week," Smith said. "Go out and make plays. That's what we've been doing."

So, there are no more questions. No more wondering who is going to get the heaviest workload in the passing game because it can change at any time. The Eagles know they have two No. 1 receivers with the same mindset of doing what it takes to win football games.

The NFL's My Cause My Cleats campaign, now in its eighth season, is an annual initiative that empowers players to showcase their commitment to the causes they support through creative artwork and custom designs on their game cleats.

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