Stephen A. Smith’s takes have gotten him into a bit of trouble lately, so perhaps picking an easy target like Mitchell Trubisky was a good idea for the ESPN pundit. Smith unloaded on a comment the now-backup quarterback for the Buffalo Bills said earlier this week as he prepares for the season behind Josh Allen.
Buffalo is the favorite out of the AFC East and a potential Super Bowl contender, a nice landing spot for a second overall pick who underwhelmed in Chicago to say the least. Speaking with the media ahead of Buffalo’s first preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Friday, Trubisky opened up about the experience of becoming a backup quarterback and finding a second chance in a new offense and a new role in football.
But as Smith made clear on Thursday, well, he’s not exactly a fan of Trubisky’s perspective on things.
“It’s just really nice to be a part of a great team and be somewhere where people want you here, and they care about how you’re progressing as a person, as a player,” Trubisky said to the press.
It may sound like a fairly generic thing for a quarterback in a new situation to say, but Smith wasn’t having it. After a disappointing and frustrating time under center as a potential franchise quarterback, Smith roasted Trubisky’s fall from grace and his perspective on his career.
“That’s what you’re saying, right? It’s nice to be wanted? You are wanted,” Smith said. “As a backup. There wasn’t a single team that wanted you as a starter, bro. not one.”
This backup role, Smith made clear, is not behind a weak quarterback where a competition for the starting job is even possible anymore. Not after the season Josh Allen had last year.
“And you’re not just any kind of backup Mr. Trubisky. Oh no,” Smith said. “You’re the backup to a guy that just signed a six-year, $258 million contract. A guy who finished second in MVP voting last year. A guy that’s actually a year younger than you in Josh Allen.”
In his eyes, in other words, a former second overall pick should not be happy where he is. Not when there’s little chance he can start again anytime soon.
“So guess what? Ain’t no way you’re ever going to see the field in Buffalo unless there’s an injury. There ain’t no way that’s ever going to happen. You’re just going to be standing there, holding a clipboard. Doing pretty much nothing,” Smith said. “You, the guy the Bears moved up and passed on Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes to get. That’s you. If that’s being wanted, I don’t know what to tell you, bro.”
It’s admittedly a bit mean, and kind of odd, to take pretty innocuous quotes and get very upset about a backup quarterback delivering fairly boilerplate quotes to fill a daily training camp story. But it’s the lean season in American sports come August, and the last time Smith tried to talk about baseball, it got problematic in a hurry. Better to poke fun at a backup quarterback than get into further trouble, I suppose.