When the Philadelphia Eagles selected Marcus Smith with the 26th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, it was thought that Smith would make a big impact straight out of college.
But that just hasn't happened. Despite being seemingly healthy all season, Smith has only played 54 defensive snaps for the Eagles. A first round pick getting on the field only 5 times a game is unheard of.
But now Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has come out and explained why the former Louisville star hasn't been seen at Lincoln Financial Field and it doesn't make for easy reading.
“He needs to be more consistent from a practice standpoint to show the coaches that we have the trust in him to put him on the field,” Kelly said.
Just 27 words, but they are an incredibly damning 27 words that show just how poorly Smith must be doing in practice. Coaches normally feel pressure to play their 1st rounders, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Kelly.
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Smith was a 4-3 defensive end in college at Louisville, but he's been forced to change position by the Eagles and he’s apparently struggling with picking up the transition to playing linebacker in a 3-4 defense that Philly use.
Defensive coordinator Billy Davis acknowledged that Smith might just need more time playing linebacker to get the hang of it, but the Eagles aren’t giving him that playing time.
The Eagles are painfully thin at linebacker having lost DeMeco Ryans for the season after tearing his achilles tendon. Connor Barwin and Trent Cole have been immense at outside linebacker for the Eagles and Mychal Kendricks has really stepped it up on the inside. But Kendricks is the only established ILB on the roster.
That's when Smith should be standing up and making a name for himself. But instead he's behind 2012 6th round pick Emmanuel Acho and 2011 4th rounder Casey Matthews. That should be embarrassing for Smith.