DeVonta Smith recalled on Tuesday a phone conversation he had with Jalen Hurts last offseason.
It was during the Bengals' run to the Super Bowl with a second-year quarterback in Joe Burrow and a rookie wide receiver in Ja'Marr Chase. Smith and Hurts lamented that the Eagles were watching football from the couch while a young QB-WR duo was in the Super Bowl.
"We see what they did. We can do it. Let's work on this and that this offseason. Here we are," Smith said. "It just came down to us wanting to be great, knowing what it took."
Here they are, indeed.
Smith set the Eagles' franchise record for most receptions by a wide receiver with 95 for 1,196 yards and seven touchdowns.
"We know what the offense is. We know what to expect," Smith said after a 'feeling out year' in 2021 with Head Coach Nick Sirianni. "Now, we can just kind of go out there and play. We don't have to sit and think about what we're doing here and there. It's kind of second nature to us now."
Smith and veteran A.J. Brown, acquired in a trade during the 2022 NFL Draft, formed one of the best wide receiver duos in the league. Brown added an Eagles franchise-record 1,496 yards as well as 11 touchdowns.
When did Smith think this Super Bowl run was possible? During the joint practice sessions in Cleveland and Miami.
"It was kind of like, 'OK, the team is coming together.' You see guys spending more time together. You see guys watching film together and things like that. It's like OK, this team can be special," Smith said.