Roquan Smith couldn’t have written a better beginning to his NFL career.
The eighth overall pick in the draft had a sack the first time he set foot on the field in Week One. That was without the benefit of training camp (holdout) or the preseason (hamstring injury).
“It was awesome,” Smith said. “First snap, actually having a sack. It's more to it than that, but it was definitely awesome.”
Smith is expected to get much more playing time Monday night against the Seahawks at Soldier Field, but coach Matt Nagy will not rush him back before he’s ready, especially because the current starter, Nick Kwiatkoski is a trusted three-year veteran with 14 starts.
“We go back to training camp, and you talk about where (Smith) was at, and he had that little deal with his hammy, and we wanted to be kind of cautious with it and be smart,” coach Matt Nagy said. “(But) I do feel like right now, with that time he’s had, he’s in a position to play more.”
The low-key Smith is unlikely to be overwhelmed by a bigger role, as he implied when asked about the differences between college and the NFL.
“It's just ball,” he said. “From the little experience I do have, I just feel like it's just ball just on a different level. It wasn't a big difference. Obviously people are bigger and a little faster and I guess the mental side of things, but other than that, I don't really see any really crazy differences.”