commentator and analyst, has recently found himself at the center of a controversy due to his comments about Miami Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.
Many people have criticized Smith for downplaying Tagovailoa”s success and questioning his downfield ability.
However, Smith, in an attempt to defend himself, claims that he isn”t seeing a wave of Tagovailoa critics.
“Why are you all acting like this dude has been victimized,” Smith said Thursday morning on First Take. “And ‘Oh my lord, they’re killing him.’ Who are these people?! Who?!”
Stephen A. would like to know who the critics victimizing Tua are…”Who are these people?” pic./u9MYjtZzcq
— Awful Announcing (awfulannouncing) October 19, 2023
“I dont know if yall watching Miami enough. All of these passes aint for 19, 20, 30, 40 yards. You just got Tua dipping it two yards to [Tyreek Hill].” – Stephen A. Smith.
We counted five long passes by Tua in the accompanying highlights package, while all of Tuas short… pic./btq7YALLTj
— Awful Announcing (awfulannouncing) October 17, 2023
“I don’t know if y’all watching Miami enough,” Smith said Tuesday on First Take. “All of these passes ain’t for 19, 20, 30, 40 yards. You just got Tua dipping it two yards to him and he’s the one taking it to the house.”
During an episode of the popular show First Take, Smith made remarks suggesting that Tagovailoa primarily specializes in short two-yard passes to wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
“You continue to intimate when saying that Tyreek Hill can take a two-yard throw and turn it into a big play…you make it very Tua-centric,” Orlovsky told Smith on Thursday. “If you watch this offense, Tua’s throwing the ball downfield more than anybody in football…you gotta stop intimating that.”
Interestingly, while Smith was making these comments, ESPN was simultaneously airing a highlight package showing Tagovailoa making deep passes.
Smith”s defense was that the segment in question was focused on Tyreek Hill and not Tua Tagovailoa. He argued that he was highlighting Hill”s ability to turn a short pass into a big gain.
However, the clip of Smith”s comments has since been pulled, indicating that there may have been some controversy surrounding his remarks.
While Smith did not explicitly say that Tagovailoa only throws two-yard passes, his comments strongly suggested that he was questioning the quarterback”s downfield ability.
This analysis occurred on Tuesday, during which the chyron on First Take read, “Is Tua the clear-cut NFL MVP right now?”
It is clear that Smith”s comments were intended to undermine Tagovailoa”s status as a frontrunner for the NFL MVP title.
His attempt to present a different narrative on thursday, claiming that he wasn”t downplaying Tagovailoa”s downfield ability, has been met with skepticism.