Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith had many skeptics on his way back to the NFL, including his own team. As Smith tried to come back from a gruesome leg injury, he felt Washington “didn’t want him” around, according to GQ’s Clay Skipper.
Smith’s comments were part of a larger article focusing on the return of the quarterback. Smith said some in the organization looked at him as if he had “three eyes” because they never expected Smith to return.
When asked how the organization responded to Smith’s return, Smith said:
“So there was a very small group of people who really thought I could do this. I think the rest of the world doubted me or patronized me. ‘Yeah, it’s great that you’re trying.’ When I decided to go back, I definitely put a brake on the team plan. They didn’t see it, they didn’t want me there, they didn’t want me to be part of it, they didn’t want me to be on the team, the roster, they didn’t want to give me a chance. It was a completely new regime, they entered, I am like the leftovers and I am hurt and I am this responsibility. No, they did not want me there. At that moment, as you can imagine, everything I had been through, I could not care less. [laughs] Like it or not, I’m going to give it a try right now. “
Smith added that after his return, he felt he had to struggle to get onto the field.
“Well yeah. I mean, they tried to put me in PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] for two weeks, then they tried to pick me up. I felt like I still hadn’t had my fair shake at that point. I wanted to see if I could play quarterback and play soccer, and I feel like I hadn’t been given a chance to find out yet. It’s like getting so close to the finish line of a marathon and they tell you that you can’t finish the race. It’s like, fuck it. I am finishing this. At least I’ll see if I can. “
As Smith pointed out, it didn’t help that a new regime took over after he was injured. Smith suffered his leg injury in 2018. At the time, Jay Gruden was the team’s head coach. Gruden was fired in 2019 and Ron Rivera took over in 2020. Rivera and the rest of his staff had no ties or loyalty to Smith, making things difficult for him.
Alex Smith not sure what’s next in his career
Despite winning the Comeback Player of the Year award, Smith is unsure of his football future. He still thinks he’s talented enough to keep playing and wants to push himself in the offseason, but admits that he will sit down with his wife and talk about whether they want to make it through another season.
Smith’s wife Elizabeth played a big role in Smith’s recovery, which wasn’t easy, and Smith said she deserves “a ton of comment” on whether he plays again.
In eight games, Smith completed 66.7 percent of his passes. He threw six touchdowns against eight interceptions after missing all of 2019 due to injury.
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