Nolan Smith: “They brought me here to finish plays, not get close”
First-round rookie Nolan Smith impressed in the second week of preseason, continuously getting pressure on Browns QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Cleveland’s rookie OT Dawand Jones (6-8, 375 pounds) did what he could to neutralize him, but Smith tallied three pressures and a tackle for loss in 23 snaps while setting up sacks for his teammates.
Watch the hands and bend here from Nolan Smith. Dips under Jones to set up the sack. pic.twitter.com/nI96kFd9RC— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) August 18, 2023
Smith left the game with an apparent shoulder injury but stated afterward that he was fine and taken out for precautionary reasons.
Despite his performance, the former Georgia Bulldog isn’t satisfied. Reporters asked Smith why he was seemingly frustrated with himself after a near-sack, to which he gave an invigorating response.
“I just get mad at myself cause some plays I gotta finish,” Smith said. “That’s why they brought me here. They brought me here to finish plays, not get close. Not get there, and I ‘almost’ do that. They brought me here to finish and make plays, and that’s what I’m here to do.”
Smith was the highest-graded player in last night’s game per PFF, coming in at 85.9. It’s evident that he holds himself to a high standard, and Smith’s elite first step will undoubtedly yield the results he desires.
Smith’s motor alone will guarantee him playing time this season, not to mention he’ll be studying behind All-Pro edge-rusher Haason Reddick. The future is bright for the No. 30 overall pick.
#Eagles LT Jordan Mailata on rookie edge Nolan Smith:— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) August 9, 2023
“A mini Haason Reddick.”
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images