“I always think someone’s watching,” Smith told PFT Live on Friday in response to long snapper Rick Lovato‘s claim that the Eagles ran a fake walk-through practice at U.S. Bank Stadium last Saturday due to concerns that the Patriots could be spying on them.
Smith, who has now won a pair of Super Bowls in his seven-year career, downplayed the idea that, as Lovato suggested, the entire walk-through was phony.
“I mean, we ran plays,” Smith said. “They were our plays. Some of them may have not have necessarily been in the game plan or in the same order. We ran plays that we run. It wasn’t like a circus, by any means.”
Still, it appears that it wasn’t a walk-through of what would be happening at full speed the next day.
During a Friday appearance on ESPN, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins made it clear that his team wouldn’t be the only one concerned about something fishy happening in the stadium where the Super Bowl was due to be played.
“I think there are still a lot of coaches out there that don’t trust the Patriots, so sometimes they’ll overthink it and do some fake plays in case anybody’s watching,” Jenkins said.
Although the Eagles were indeed prepared to play and to win (because, obviously, they did both), the notion that any team would sacrifice the opportunity to rehearse the actual plays they plan to run in the place they will be playing confirms the extent to which the Patriots have established residence in the heads of the rest of the NFL, making it even more significant when someone finds a way to beat them.
For more from Smith, download the PFT Live podcast. Although we’ll be off during the Winter Olympics on the NBC family of networks, the show continues every weekday on NBC Sports Radio and SiriusXM 205.