However, the 2020 Heisman Trophy-winning wide receiver does have one regret in his playing career. And he revealed that regret came during the biggest game of his young NFL career.
“The last catch I had,” Smith told Scott Thompson of Fox News Digital on Monday, July 17.
The Play the Tide Star is Referring To
The play in reference was during the 2023 Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs — and it was one of the biggest plays Smith made that eventually helped tie the game up.
It was when the Eagles were at the Kansas City 47-yard line down 35-27 with 5:45 left in the fourth quarter. Fellow past Alabama star Jalen Hurts found Smith taking advantage of some busted coverage on the Chiefs’ side and hit Smith.
In what looked like a surefire six-point play for Philly, Smith lost his footing and ultimately stepped out of bounds at the KC 2-yard line. Eventually, the Eagles would score on a Hurts keeper and tied the game up at 35-all. But still, Smith was his own worst critic on an otherwise beautifully executed play design. But why was Smith hard on himself for that catch?
“If I went ahead and scored, we would’ve had more time when we had the ball on the last possession to go do some things that we needed to do,” he said.
While Smith dominated at Alabama and against the rugged Southeastern Conference slate, Smith proved he belonged on the bright lights of the Super Bowl. He ended up with seven catches for 100 yards against the Chiefs.
Ultimately, the Chiefs had the final possession and milked enough time to hit the final winning field goal in capturing the franchise’s third Vince Lombardi Trophy. With Patrick Mahomes at the controls, the Chiefs put together a 12-play, 66-yard final scoring drive to seal the win in Glendale, Arizona — and hand Smith and Hurts their first career Super Bowl loss while additionally handing the Eagles their third defeat in the big game.
DeVonta Smith’s New Focus
While Smith dwelled on what could have been for he and the Eagles, he’s now preparing for his third NFL training camp during the week of July 24.
Smith — who collected 235 total receptions including 117 during his final season with ‘Bama, plus secured the Heisman with 23 receiving touchdowns in that same final campaign — will now aim to build off his breakout 2022 season.
The WR now known as “Slim Reaper” and “Skinny Batman” put together his first 90-catch campaign with 95 receptions for 1,196 yards and seven touchdowns. And, the Eagles will be entering 2023 with a bull’s eye marked on their backs by NFC teams as they’ll aim to topple the conference champs.
Smith, though, says the Eagles are avoiding being reflective of last year.
“Every year’s different. We can’t sit up here and bank on what we did,” he said to Thompson. “It’s a new year, new team. No team is ever the same the following year, so we have to put together things the right way and try to get back to where we was and finish it the right way.
“We have to build on what we did, continue to do things the right way,” Smith continued. “We do things how we did last year, and do it even better, I think we’ll get to where we want to be.”