Marcus Smith: Focus is on playing now

June, 11, 2014
Jun 11
2:00
PM ET
Marcus Smith was picked first by the Philadelphia Eagles, No. 26 overall in the opening round of the NFL draft.

Smith was signed last, the seventh and final Philadelphia draft pick to ink a contract.

And he's relieved.

Smith can now fully concentrate on his new job.

"It feels great for me to sign my rookie contract, get everything out of the way and be officially an Eagle," Smith told CSNPhilly.com. "I don't have to worry about any of (the contract) things anymore. I can just come out here and come play."

Smith has been backing up Connor Barwin during organized team activities.

"He's been impressive, so far," Barwin told CSNPhilly.com of Smith. "Mentally, he's really been able to grasp the defense, which is a good sign for a young guy. He has a good understanding of football and coverage and those sorts of things."

Smith registered 14.5 sacks as a senior at Louisville and showed tremendous ability in rushing the quarterback. Duplicating that feat in the NFL won't be easy.

That's why the Eagles' coaches seem to ease the rookies in during OTAs.

"It's usually what we do. We script it that way," Eagles coach Chip Kelly told reporters. "Our ones obviously have a better grasp of the playbook, so in certain situations, we want to see things done. So instead of slowing down 10 other guys, because one guy is not sure what the play is, we make sure we know when that group is in where they are. I think (offensive coordinator) Pat (Shurmur) and (defensive coordinator) Billy (Davis) have done a really good job of cooperating on how they are scripting and the looks they are going to face. Just a combination of where it is."

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