DeVonta Smith breaks out of shell with Eagles, dances The Smitty Shimmy – NFL Nation

PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles’ 32-6 rout of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1 was surprising, but not as surprising as what happened in the locker room afterwards — at least for some close to wide receiver DeVonta Smith.

The rookie got his NFL career off to a fine start, catching a touchdown pass on his first reception and finishing with six grabs for 71 yards to help fuel Philadelphia’s upset win.

With the postgame party in full tilt, the players danced in a circle in the middle of the visitors’ locker room. The seas began to part and out popped a shirtless Smith, with moves that brought the house down.

“Everybody was just like, they haven’t ever seen me do nothing like that,” said Smith on the reaction he received after the video went viral. “A lot of people were saying that. I don’t know, I just felt like doing it that time.”

It goes a little deeper than that. Smith credits his Eagles teammates for getting him “out of my shell” by making him feel comfortable enough in their company to let his personality shine through.

“The first day I stepped in the building, everybody just treated me like I was family,” he said. “That’s just the whole team. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only guy they got out of their shell.”

Smith, though, isn’t as easily coaxed as others. He can be pretty reserved. An example: when asked about adapting to a big city like Philadelphia coming from the South, he came clean and said he hasn’t gone out. Like at all. Not even for a cheesesteak or a sit-down dinner with friends. Smith, who lives by himself, goes to the NovaCare Complex for work and then straight home after.

“That’s just how I am. I don’t like being around a lot of people,” he said. “I don’t like going out. I’m just kind of to myself, sit inside, watch film, play the game, sleep. That’s about all I do.”

So what did he do after his first NFL game to celebrate?

“I went home and I played [NBA]2K,” he said.

The attention is nothing new. Smith was one of the biggest stars in college football last season, dazzling to the tune of 117 catches for 1,856 yards with 23 touchdowns at Alabama en route to capturing the Heisman Trophy.

He was selected No. 10 overall by the Eagles in April’s NFL draft, and was greeted upon arrival by his old battery mate at Alabama, quarterback Jalen Hurts. Fellow Crimson Tide alum Landon Dickerson was drafted by the Eagles in the second round, further adding to Smith’s comfort level.

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Smith has been showing more and more of his personality behind the scenes as the weeks have gone on, and took it to another level by busting out his dance moves Sunday in Atlanta.

“You think he’s more of a quiet guy initially. He’s nice, got a great personality, but he’s very serious about football and that’s great,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said. “But that’s what you want to see after a game. You work hard to get to that moment, and I want him to feel great after a game like that and celebrate after that and crave to get that again. So, it was good to see DeVonta do that. Maybe I have to learn that dance and I’ll do that next time.”

“I’m willing to teach him,” Smith said with a smile, “if he wants to learn.”

Smith, 22, has already emerged as the team’s lead wide receiver. He was tops in snaps (58) and targets (8) Sunday, showing off the elite footwork and polished route running that made him the best receiver in college football a year ago.

His trip to the end zone Sunday will likely become a familiar sight, and who knows, maybe his locker room shimmy will, too.

“That’s the things y’all don’t see,” Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor said. “That’s Smitty. You all see DeVonta. We see Smitty.”

“We’re not just football players. We all have lives and personalities,” Hurts said. “So Smitty, ‘Six’, DeVonta, Slim Reaper. He’s a great all-around guy.”