Final cuts are a little over a week away. Marcus Smith is trying to impress a coaching staff that didn't draft him. Steven Means has had a very good preseason. Smith has little to show for his first two NFL seasons.
If time is running out on the former first-round pick from Louisville, it's not weighing on him.
"I try not to think about those things," Smith said. "Just go out there every single day and not worry about what's going on around me because everything will take care of itself."
Smith, in his first year as a 4-3 defensive end after struggling in two seasons as a 3-4 linebacker, missed the preseason game against the Bucs with a concussion but actually played very well Thursday night in Pittsburgh, with four tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry.
It didn't count. But it was the kind of performance the Eagles have been waiting for since they made Smith the 26th pick in the 2014 draft.
Smith played just 68 snaps as a rookie, getting more than seven snaps in only four games. Last year, he played five or fewer snaps in nine of 16 games.
But new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has given Smith every opportunity to shine, and he liked what he saw in Pittsburgh.
"The thing I'm most proud about with Marcus is that he's done a good job in the run game," Schwartz said.
"He's a very skilled athlete. He's fast and he's smooth. I think he was a quarterback when he first went to Louisville. I mean, that stuff shows. Where he's really making good improvement is setting the edge of our defense [and] attacking tackles.
"He did that against a physical group from Pittsburgh. That was a great sign."
Smith was asked about his run defense being an underrated part of his game, and he disagreed with the assessment.
"For myself, it's not an underrated part, but everybody else thinks that it's underrated because they see me as just a pass rusher," he said.
"But I also know that I can play the run and stop the run and rush the passer at the same time, and when you have both those tools then it allows the coaches to be able to put you in the game more."
When the preseason began, it was just kind of a foregone conclusion that Smith's time in Philly had run out.
Now, he's battling not only for a roster spot, presumably with Means, but also for playing time behind defensive ends Vinny Curry, Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham.
Smith insists he's not worried about where he fits in on a roster that's loaded on the defensive line.
"I don't think about those things because if you think about things you can't control you tend to not do the things that you're supposed to do," he said.
"So I just worry about what I can control and just get better and play well."
Smith is on three special teams units — kickoff, punt and kickoff return — which gives him a few more opportunities to show he belongs.
More than anything, for the first time since he got to the NFL, he's brimming with confidence.
That, more than anything else, was missing the last two seasons.
"I feel really comfortable just because the scheme and the type of defense that we're playing, it allows me to just be a defensive end," he said.
"My confidence level is really high. I feel that when I'm out on the field I can't be stopped."