Eagles Buzz: Richard Sherman says DeVonta Smith forced him to retire
It didn’t take very long for DeVonta Smith to leave his mark on the NFL.
Across his first two seasons, Smith has ingrained himself as one of the league’s premier young wideouts. After setting a new franchise record for receiving yards as a rookie (916), Smith raised his game to another level in 2022.
Smith’s 95 receptions were most ever by an Eagles wide receiver and his 1,196 yards (along with AJ Brown’s 1,496) gave Philadelphia their first WR duo to eclipse the 1k mark in a single season.
NFL veterans haven’t been bashful about their admiration for Smitty, with former All-Pro CB Richard Sherman the latest to laud his abilities.
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On a recent episode of his podcast, Sherman recalled a 2021 Week 6 matchup between the Eagles and Bucs where he attempted to defend Smith and realized that his best playing days were behind him:
“DeVonta must’ve run this comeback [route] — I had him under control. I was like, bam, quick jam, easy, had him under control. He must’ve stopped and I tried to stop and my whole groin said, ‘Snap, snap, snap, snap,’ and I said, ‘Whoa, whoa.’
Then you’re trying to guard and chasing him around and you’re like ‘please don’t throw him the ball, please.’ My coach is looking at me on the sideline like, ‘Hey, you wanna come out, you wanna come out?’
“I’m like, ‘Yeah, but they’re in a hurry-up,’ so I’m like bailing out. At that moment, I was like yeah, this is probably my last year. I don’t got it for these young dudes right here.”
I’m almost certain this was the play Sherman referenced:
Sherman, who was 33 at the time, appeared in just five snaps following that play before being ruled out with an injury. He wasn’t active again until two months later.
Smith giving corners fits in man coverage is nothing new, but to have the All-2010s Hall of Famer reeling speaks to how technical his route-running is — shoutout to Sherman for trying his best, though.
Containing the Slim Reaper is no easy task.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports