Smith, the team’s first-round pick in April, was picked on frequently by Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, eventually surrendering a 28-yard touchdown to wide receiver Malcom Floyd in the third quarter.
Smith said he was fully aware that he might draw Rivers’ attention.
“For me, this is big,” Smith said. “It was my first game out there and a lot of things happened. They locked onto me, being the young player. They knew how to come after me, and I think they did that well.”
Rivers targeted Smith at least five times in the first half, calling double moves that allowed Floyd and Vincent Jackson to get space against Smith.
Smith didn’t seem flustered by San Diego’s success against him, saying, “I’ve been beaten before. It happens. It’s football. These guys do get paid. I’m out there facing Pro Bowlers, and that stuff’s going to happen.”
Smith said he would use the outing as a learning experience.
“I already know what they did,” he said. “So it’s not like I didn’t know what they were doing. It’s just going back and seeing what I did wrong and how to fix it.”