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Torrey Smith: Eagles built to avoid any Super Bowl hangover

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NFL Media's Oklahoma Drill series presents exclusive, quick-hitting one-on-one interviews with players and coaches from around the league. No nonsense -- just football experiences directly from the source.

Torrey Smith

Wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles

Born: Jan. 26, 1989

Experience: Seven NFL seasons

Interview by Brooke Cersosimo | Feb. 15, 2018

[The Super Bowl-winning Eagles and Ravens teams] were similar in terms of the makeup. Locker rooms were all about family and a great mixture of veteran leaders and younger guys. For me personally, cherish it a lot more [the second time] because I know how hard it is to get there. To be able to see all the things the organization put together to make it happen was pretty special. I appreciate it more.

When you think of the younger guys in our (wide receiver) room, no one even went to the playoffs. To have that (experience) and be able to explain it to them, like what it took and how we needed to play and work, that was a challenge all year that was fun to watch. Guys competed each and every day, and they were hungry. That's not just the receivers, but the whole team.

Our receivers room was extremely tight. There were no egos. Everyone wanted the best from each other. We competed and lifted each other up when the next one was down. We just wanted it for each other. This year was special, and that room alone was a major part of it.

We always had fun. You knew when you walked in that room, you could be in the worst mood, but you knew someone was going to break the mood and remind you that we're having fun together.

Next man up, and that's the way our team has been all year long. For us to be in that position again, it's tough because you don't want to see anyone go down, especially with Carson (Wentz) being the type of person and player he is, but we had all the confidence in (Nick) Foles. We knew we had to be on the same page as soon as possible.

From top to bottom with the coaches and front office, there were no egos, and everyone kind of meshed. That was cool to see.

It's something that I'm probably anticipating, being back [in Philadelphia]. I think both sides know that, but I also know it's a business, as well. You understand that as a player, and you have to understand to protect yourself. I'd love to be back, and hopefully it works out that way. Anything else that happens, I'll kind of deal with it.

That's the challenge that I want. A majority of the reason of why [a Super Bowl hangover] happens is because there's a lot of change within the team. I don't know if this is a team that will have too many changes in key places. This team isn't really dependent on one guy, and that was proven. I think if there's any team who can handle that, this team is built for it.

I think the league has done a great job of trying to understand what it is that guys are fighting for and speaking out about. Do I think it's been perfect? No. But I think there's been a genuine effort, which means more than anything else, that there's a lot of people who've learned. It's given us a platform to try and express those things.

I think it's perfect for this sport to be the one to [spark conversation] because every locker room has different guys of different colors, backgrounds, countries, religions. You get everyone together, and they're focused on one common goal. You don't feel those types of tensions that you feel in the real world. It means a lot that [the NFL] is giving us an opportunity to express.

That's the only thing I don't like. Out of all the things the NFL is doing well with [social justice movement], that's the only thing that hasn't been corrected. [Colin Kaepernick] is clearly talented enough, and there are other players who have been given chances, and he hasn't been given one. I think he deserves that. We've had guys who've committed crimes that get multiple opportunities, and I'm perfectly fine with that, because as a society, when people make mistakes, you shouldn't just throw them away. The league does a good job, in my opinion, of trying to help guys who've made mistakes, with player engagement. In his case, he didn't commit a crime, and it's more that people don't want to deal with negative publicity. I don't think it's right.

The biggest thing is mentoring and after-school programs, which is the first year we're piloting that. We want to expand on that and try to help more kids that way.

I'm thankful for this platform for a lot of reasons. You can be a voice for people who don't have one. You're a role model, whether you choose to be or not. I take a lot of pride in trying to do the right thing, because people are watching. Am I perfect? No, but I'll always stand up for what I think is right. There are a lot of people who are looking up to me, and they deserve that voice.

Snowboarding. I wouldn't be good at any [Winter Olympic sport], but I think it'd be fun. All the flips they do and the speed they get up to, I'm a big fan.

It's a tie between Champ Bailey and Darrelle Revis. There are a lot of young guys who are good now, but because I was younger and trying to figure things out, they were tough.

The biggest thing is [having children] puts things into perspective. It's very easy as a professional to be disappointed or get too caught up in your job that it consumes you or takes you away from reality, because it's always been your getaway. Now, I have a wife and kids to come home to, and no matter what, I can count on them to bring me back down to Earth. I know that no matter what happens, they love me. That's all that matters.

[The Indianapolis Colts are] getting a great man, first of all, a person who's going to cherish the responsibility of leading that team. [Frank Reich] a guy you want to play for and a guy who really cares about his players and their success. He's a great communicator. He'll pump you up to give you confidence and so you know that he believes in you, but if things aren't looking the way they should be, he'll call you out on it and will challenge you. Those are always the best coaches that go both ways, and he's great with X's and O's. He's going to do a great job.

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