Ex-quarterback Alex Smith is fiercely critical of defensive-minded coaches. And takes a shot at one coach in particular
The former quarterback doesn’t think much of defensive coaches in terms of developing a playmaker. The 39-year-old, who ended his career after the 2020 season, emphasised that in very strong terms on “SiriusXM NFL Radio”.
“It’s a different mentality when you play for an offensive head coach who wants to light up the scoreboard and outscore the opponent,” said Smith, who played for the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs and in Washington between 2005 and 2020.
Coach mentality a problem
He says it becomes problematic when you’re a young quarterback facing a defensive head coach, “when the coach’s mentality is, ‘Hey, don’t make a mistake, don’t lose the ball and don’t put us in a bad situation.’ That’s a big difference for a young quarterback’s mentality and mindset, especially when the start is a little bumpy. “
Smith didn’t just stay general in his execution, though, naming a coach: Robert Saleh, the head coach of the New York Jets since 2021. Saleh had previously made a name for himself as defensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers.
Under his direction, Zach Wilson, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, has so far been unable to put his talent on the field in the Big Apple as hoped. The Jets are holding on to Wilson, but have traded Aaron Rodgers to him. In addition, Nathaniel Hackett was signed as the new offensive coordinator.
Harsh criticism of Robert Saleh
Smith harshly criticizes Saleh for Wilson’s development. “Robert Saleh, you’re a great defensive specialist and coordinator, but you have no idea how to develop a quarterback,” Smith said.
“The coordinator you hired never made plays. And as much as you think you’re prepared to develop a young guy – you’re just not. “