A few hours after the Eagles escaped Los Angeles with a 26-24 win over the Chargers, wide receiver Torrey Smith took to Twitter.
The veteran free-agent pickup was frustrated by his own play. Against the Chargers, he had just one catch on three targets and it went for just nine yards. He also dropped a beautiful pass from Carson Wentz that could have gone for a big gain.https://twitter.com/TorreySmithWR/status/914638976958394368
A few days later, Smith had gained some perspective.
"When I looked back at it, I exaggerated a little bit," he said on Wednesday.
So maybe it's not the worst stretch of his seven-year career, but it's certainly not what the 28-year-old expected when he signed a two-year deal to join the Eagles this offseason.
Through the first four games of the 2017 season, Smith has four drops and a couple of them have come in big situations.
"I left a few plays out on the field," Smith said. "I think more than anything just frustrating because I had a great camp. I had a great offseason, period. And was building off of that momentum. ... I just have to try to get back on track, which I will.
"I'm not panicking. I'm not in the tank or anything. I guess probably a little embarrassed by it more than anything because it's not the start that I wanted. Let my teammates down. That was the first quarter (of the season). Starting the second quarter now and looking forward to getting on track."
After the drop on Sunday, Smith stayed on the ground for an extra few seconds and put his hands over his face. "Just frustrated, a little disappointed," he said.
While Smith admitted it isn't necessarily easy to put his frustrations out of his mind and move to the next play, he knows it's something as a pro he's expected to do.
Through four games, Smith has just 10 catches on 19 targets for 134 yards. He doesn't have a touchdown yet. He's on pace for 22 catches for 536 yards. When asked to grade his performance through the first quarter of the season, Smith gave himself a D-plus.
Unlike in San Francisco, where he had just 103 targets the last two seasons, Smith is getting chances so far in Philly. He just hasn't been able to make plays, which makes the situation that much more frustrating.
Smith isn't changing anything about his preparation this week. He plans to keep his routine together because it's what has worked for him in the past. He doesn't even see any common thread in the dropped passes.
He just needs to make the plays.
The organization has publicly supported Smith over the past few days since the receiver's poor game and subsequent tweet, which is comforting to a point.
"No concern," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "When you play enough and you get enough balls thrown to you — [whether] you line up at guard or tackle or throw enough passes — you're going to have your miscues. Sometimes they come in bunches. In the immediate term, we've got a lot of confidence in Torrey. He's been around a long time and has made a lot of plays."
Head coach Doug Pederson said he treats a struggling veteran player much different than a struggling rookie. While Pederson has benched Isaac Seumalo and did the same with Nelson Agholor last season, this week he talked about the importance of continuing to throw the ball Smith's way.
Pederson said Smith works hard and will "get that fixed."
Smith is appreciative of the support but knows it won't go on forever if he doesn't improve.
"It helps but you've got a job to do," Smith said. "If that were to continue, it's a completely different thing. I'd be looking at everybody on the field. That's just how it goes. That's not the case. I'll get it together, I'll be making plays. When I'm playing the game that I play it, it's going to change our offense."
Wentz remains confident in Smith, too. He said he talked with Smith this week to make sure the two are on the same page — "we are," he said.
One point Smith brought up a couple times is that the Eagles are winning and the offense is still working even without his contributions. That's a reason for optimism, the way Smith sees it. When he starts performing, he claims it will "change [their] offense."
The day after his "worst stretch of my career" tweet, Smith was back on the social media site to share something that uplifted him. His toddler son T.J. drew a photo of his dad with a long-haired LeGarrette Blount and Wentz. Wentz was drawn with an orange crayon, of course.
Outside of his dad, Blount, Wentz and Mack Hollins are T.J. Smith's favorite Eagles players. Hollins once let him watch and feed his snakes.https://twitter.com/TorreySmithWR/status/914832522030313472
"That's just real life," Smith said. "The few plays that I didn't make, if you knew where I grew up, knew where I came from, this is the least of my worries. I'm pretty resilient. There's nothing that happens in this game that I haven't been through or that I haven't overcome. There's no stress on my end."