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Friday, August 8, 2014
Marcus Smith eager for night of firsts

By Andy Jasner

PHILADELPHIA -- Marcus Smith doesn’t know what to expect.

That’s perfectly normal for a rookie preparing to play in his first NFL preseason game.

Smith, who was selected No. 26 overall in the first round from the University of Louisville, will almost certainly receive snaps when the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Chicago Bears Friday night at Soldier Field.

Smith recorded 14 1/2 sacks last season at Louisville.

But this is the NFL, and it will be a whole different environment for the linebacker and edge-rusher.

“I'm really curious to see how it will play out,” Smith said. "I just want to be able to go out there, make plays and be able to show the coaches that they can trust me to be out there.”

Smith said he has never been to an NFL game in person, so this debut will be extra special.

“This moment is going to be great, just the first preseason game and it's also the first preseason game that I'm playing in, it's also the first NFL game that I've been to,” Smith said. “My dad will be out there watching me play, so it will be a great day for me. When we were in Atlanta, we never went up to a Falcons game, so this will be the first game that I'm at and the first game I'm playing in. It’s going to be really exciting in many ways for me.”

There’s pressure with being a first-round pick, but Smith is taking a different viewpoint of the situation.

“It's not a burden,” Smith said. “Being the 26th overall pick, I want to go out there and make plays to show the coaches that they can trust me to be out there. I want to show them what I can do and prove to them that they made the right choice. At the same time, I have to work at being consistent and not try to do too much. This is the first preseason game for me.”