Torrey Smith has many reasons to be excited about his regular season debut for the San Francisco 49ers.
Chief among them, the team's free-agent addition from the Baltimore Ravens has developed strong on-field chemistry with Colin Kaepernick. Smith sounded eager to showcase his connection with his new quarterback in San Francisco's Week 1 home opener against the Minnesota Vikings on "Monday Night Football."
"I've been catching them for years; he's been throwing them for years," Smith told reporters on Tuesday. "We just have to make it all happen at the right time during the game."
Smith, who the 49ers signed to a five-year contract back in March, has been one of the NFL's top downfield threats since he entered the league as a second-round draft pick in 2011.
During his time in the NFL, the 26-year-old's average of 16.9 yards per reception ranks second in the league among receivers with a minimum of 200 catches. Smith caught 213 passes for 3,591 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns during his four-year tenure in Baltimore. He's also coming off a 2014 campaign in which he caught 49 passes for 767 receiving yards and scored a career-high 11 touchdowns.
When the fifth-year pro was asked about his fondness for taking the top off the opposing defense, San Francisco's new wideout said his focus is centered on winning games and not so much on increasing his yardage totals.
"I'd like to have us score some points, whatever way that happens," Smith said.
The versatile receiver pointed to the team aspect of connecting on momentum-shifting plays in the passing game. The key moments, in his estimation, don't solely fall on the quarterback and receiver working in tandem.
"On a play like that, it's not just about us two," Smith said. "It's about the big guys up front getting it done, giving (Kaepernick) time. We're the last leg of the race. We have to make it happen, especially when they work that hard."
Smith said his on-field relationship with Kaepernick steadily improved throughout August. In particular, competitive practice sessions have given Smith confidence in where the 49ers offense is at prior to Week 1.
"I think the biggest way to get a feel for that is from practice," the receiver said. "We have some live reps together, which is a good thing. You have way more quality time in practice. You're confident that if you practice well, you play well. We've been putting together some good practices as of late, so we feel real good going into it."
Monday's matchup with Minnesota marks Smith's first game as a member of his second NFL franchise. It also serves as an opportunity to show he can impact the game in a variety of ways, not just as a matchup problem.
"I'm looking forward to seeing all the hard work pay off," Smith said. "It doesn't matter again if you do good in practice – you're confident about it – but you still have to execute in the games. That's what it all comes down to."
Smith added that the 49ers must play consistent ball and "make the plays that are there" in order to sustain drives and score points against a talented Vikings defense, which allowed the league's 11th-fewest points per game in 2014.
The wideout conceded that San Francisco didn't show too much in the preseason in terms of new offensive schemes, but ultimately, exhibition game tape won't be remembered after the final result on Monday night.
"We're not going to have some magic play that these teams have never seen before," Smith said. "It might be new coming from us, but it's nothing that they've never seen before.
"You don't want to show all your cards (in the preseason), but they know what you have. It's on us to go out there and play well."
Thankful for making the team another year...it's a great accomplishment....it will get harder every year...nothing is guaranteed — Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) September 6, 2015