Former QB Alex Smith Has Damning Assessment Of Defensive-Minded Head Coaches

former nfl qb alex smith in a dress shirt

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Former San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Washington Commanders quarterback Alex Smith uncorked quite the hot take about defensive head coaches this week.

During a recent appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, the 39-year-old Smith hypothesized that defensive-minded head coaches are at a disadvantage when it comes to developing quarterbacks, which is crucial for the success of an NFL franchise.

“There is a different mentality, from my career, when you play for an offensive head coach that wants to light up the scoreboard and outscore the opponent,” Smith said, via ProFootballTalk.

“There’s a different mentality you have, especially as a young quarterback versus a defensive head coach, when really the [coach’s] mentality is ‘Hey, don’t screw up, don’t turn the ball over, don’t put us in a bad situation.’ That’s a huge difference in a mentality and a mindset for a young quarterback, especially if it’s a bit rocky to start.”

Of all the defensive head coaches in the league, Smith then name-checked Robert Saleh, which doesn’t seem all that fair considering Zach Wilson appears to be an XFL-level quarterback.

“Robert Saleh, you’re a great defensive mind and coordinator, but like you have no idea how to develop a quarterback,” Smith said. “The coordinator you hired never called plays. So that’s a completely different animal. And as much as you think you’re prepared to handle that development of a young kid, you’re just not.”

Granted, he’s widely considered to be a genius offensive mind, but has Sean Payton ever proven he can develop a quarterback? Before landing with the Saints, Drew Brees proved he had the talent and that it was just a matter of staying healthy. Now, in Denver, he’s got another veteran quarterback in Russell Wilson.

While Smith might have a point about defensive-minded head coaches being less equipped to develop signal-callers than offensive ones, that also certainly shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all of determining whether or not they’re effective head coaches.

Eric Italiano BroBIble avatar
Eric Italiano is a NYC-based writer who spearheads BroBible's Pop Culture and Entertainment content. He covers topics such as Movies, TV, and Video Games, while interviewing actors, directors, and writers.