Giants wide receiver Steve Smith catches a pass in front...

Giants wide receiver Steve Smith catches a pass in front of New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer in the second half of a game in New Orleans. (Oct. 18, 2009) Credit: AP

That "long haul" Tom Coughlin spoke of in regards to Steve Smith's return to an NFL field? Turns out it was just a short drive down the Turnpike.

Yes, the beloved receiver for the Giants who was the first Pro Bowler at his position for the team in several generations and caught the most overlooked pass on the game-winning drive in Super Bowl XLII has flown the coop to the Eagles.

Here is a transcript of some of the questions he was asked and the answers he gave when he was introduced to the Eagles media this evening:

Opening remark: “Yeah, I just wanted to say that I’m happy this process is over with and just really thankful for the Giants and them for drafting me. And I’m just really excited for my future with the Eagles now.”

On how far away he is from playing and why the Eagles were his pick: “You know, I’m not sure how far I am away from playing. I think I’m pretty close but we’ll have to determine that with the doctors and with [head] coach [Andy Reid]. And I just chose the Eagles because it seemed like a great fit and that’s just how it played out. So it just worked out this way.”

On whether he disagrees with Giants head coach Tom Coughlin saying he’s far away from being healthy: “Yeah, I would disagree with that personally just because I feel good. I’ve been running, I’ve been doing different things, cutting and stuff and it’s been feeling good. I haven’t been having any setbacks so hopefully that will continue but we’ll see.”

On whether he felt disrespected by the Giants: “This is a business and it’s tough. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on and the Giants, I talk to the coaches and players all the time. You know, it’s just when the business aspect gets involved, you’ve seen it for years, it’s hard. So I don’t feel disrespected and the Eagles really pushed hard. I spoke to their front office a lot often and they showed a great interest in me. And I think they’re on the right path to winning a championship so it just worked out.”

On whether he is surprised that the Giants would let him get away: “I mean, I don’t know if I’m surprised, it just happened. That’s how it happens sometimes… Brett Favre left from the Packers. So if that happens then anything can happen.”

On where he sees himself fitting in when he is able to return to the field: “I don’t know that yet. I think I’m just going to go in there and work my butt off and just try to work really, really hard. And I talked to Coach Reid and as much as he can say in all of this, I still have to go out there and show him the player that I am. So that’s what I first want to do and I see those opportunities in this offense to make plays.”

On whether joining a division rival adds an element to his decision: “It’s going to be maybe tough the first time. It’s going to be an emotional game. But, you know, it’s just football and that’s the business that we’re in. So you have to go out there and be a professional and just play hard.”

On his thoughts about joining a receiving corps that has so much depth: “Yeah, you know, it just reminds me of my USC days when I had to go out there and compete with all kinds of other guys and they really didn’t care much about me. And every day I spent I was doing pretty well for myself. So I love the competition and I think when you play around other great players that brings the best out of you.”

On whether he feels comfortable playing both inside and outside at the receiver position: “Yeah, I feel great inside or outside. I’ve worked my game inside/outside. With the Giants they just used me inside a lot. So I think I can do both but we’ll see how they want to use me in Philly.”

On when he thinks he’ll be able to return to practice: “I’m not sure on that. If it was up to me I could go practice tomorrow. But we want to be extra careful with this thing and just because you’re feeling pretty good today you don’t want to rush it and have any setbacks. So I think that I’m ahead of the curve and that’s how we want to keep it. So I’m just going to work hard with the doctors and tell them the truth, let them know what’s going on, what I’m feeling, and hopefully I’ll be able to get out there really soon.”

On why he needed microfracture surgery and who performed the surgery: “Dr. Warren did the surgery. And I did microfracture because that’s the surgery that has the most tested results, the highest rate of success for this type of injury, which is cartilage damage. So that’s why I did it.”

On his timetable during this process and at what point the Eagles got involved: “The Eagles have been involved pretty diligently for weeks, now, talking to my agent. And we were just waiting and waiting to see what was going to happen with the Giants. But I don’t know what happened there, I don’t know. So I’m just fortunate that Philadelphia being such a great team wanted me and it just worked out.”

On whether he brought the offer back to the Giants or was the offer in Philadelphia what he wanted all along: “I’m not sure really. My agent’s dealing with that stuff but I’m pretty sure that the Giants weren’t able to match the offer. So it just worked out.”

On how long it will take him to get caught up with the Eagles playbook and carve a niche in the offense: “I hope it doesn’t take too long because even when you miss a little bit of time of football you’re still rusty. So I’m definitely going to have some rust to knock off and I’ve been staying in really good shape but there’s nothing like football shape and being out there with the team and stuff. So hopefully it doesn’t take too long for me to get back into the groove of things.”

On the status of WR Jeremy Maclin: “Yeah, I’m not too sure about that. That’s definitely something that’s going to have to be addressed. But I don’t know, I’m just going in ready to workout and get with the team and meet the guys and do what I have to do.”

On whether there was a buzz among National Football League players about how aggressive the Eagles have been: “Yeah, I mean it’s pretty exciting to watch and see; even just when I wasn’t part of the Eagles yet I was just like, ‘Wow they’re making some really big moves’, and it’s definitely something to look at and talk about.”

On whether he is excited to play with QB Michael Vick: “It’s going to be a thrill just to be able to play alongside a player like him who’s battled through so much and he seems like he appreciates the game so much right now. So I’m really excited.”

On whether he thinks there are enough footballs to spread around to all of the playmakers: “Yeah, I mean great players all along the ball and they want the statistics but, you know, I think when you’re winning and you have the opportunity to win a lot of games and win a Super Bowl I think that means more. So guys are going to have to put egos to the side and really just think team and I think we can go far.”

On whether it will be hard to put egos aside: “It’s tough but you have to do it. When you have all of these guys on the team you have to be realistic, Vick can’t get it to everybody like that. You know, he’s going to run the ball sometimes too.”

On why he signed a 1-year deal: “That’s something my agent just dealt with and that’s just how it came about. Obviously, you want more years but if things work out then I’m sure that will be worked out too. So we’ll see what happens.”

On what he thinks made the Eagles a good fit: “Yeah, that was obviously something that made me excited, to join a cast full of great players. And I just think it’s a great fit because it’s a great opportunity to get out there with guys who are playing at such a high level and just try to find a spot out there for me, for myself. And I think that will be fine. I think I’ll find ways for myself to get out there and make some plays even though they have so many talented players.”

On whether he has a realistic timetable for his return barring no setbacks: “Week two, could be week one, you never know, we’ll see how I feel.”

On whether it will be fun to recreate the rivalry from the other side after his Twitter comments last year: “Yeah, it’s going to be funny. I’m going to go up to LeSean [McCoy] the first day I see him and just shake his hand and give him a hug and tell him that was all just Twitter beef and it was just all in fun. And you know, it’s just a great rivalry and I’m thankful to be a part of it. And having switched sides it’s a little different but still it will be exciting to see what it’s like on this side.”

On whether he’s talked to QB Eli Manning or anyone since he’s made the move: “I haven’t, no I haven’t, but I’m definitely going to reach out to those guys and wish them well.”

On how there can be such a big difference of opinion between team doctors: “I don’t know, maybe [Giants head coach Tom] Coughlin has a plan or something up his sleeve when he said that. Who knows, but I got checked out by both team doctors and have positive reports, so we’ll see what happens when I get on the field.”

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