METAIRIE, La. (WVUE) - Hot and cold is probably the best way to describe Tre’Quan Smith’s first two years in New Orleans. His breakout performance came early during his rookie season against Washington where he caught Drew Brees’ historic touchdown pass that broke the all-time record for yards.
But at other times, he’s struggled to make an impact, and part of it was the slow process of learning all of the positions on the field.
“A lot of our receivers interchange between inside and outside,” says Smith. “Depending what the coach wants and Drew wants, you can end up outside or inside. So it’s best to know the whole offense, and that’s what I’m doing now.”
But what it really boils down to when it comes to Tre’Quan Smith, no matter where he’s lining up on the field, is simply being on the field in the first place. Injuries have set him back too often in his young career, and despite having some big games, in order to do it consistently, he has to maintain his health.
“I know what I’m capable of when the ball’s in my hands,” says Smith. “I’ve just got to get the opportunity in this offense to showcase that, but I can’t do it being hurt. "
Because despite the ups and downs, head coach Sean Payton still believes Smith still has characteristics that set him apart from other receivers on the roster.
“He’s an important part of what we’re doing offensively,” says Payton. “He’s one of those players that will make a catch in traffic that a lot of guys may not necessarily have the same appetite for. But he’s a tough player, and he’s doing good.”
Smith says one of the biggest influences on his changes to maintaining his body this offseason has been fellow receiver Michael Thomas. Smith adds that massages and spending more time recovering and working on flexibility have resulted in feeling the best he ever has to start the season.
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