Smith's recovery and comeback trail was nothing short of miraculous, which is what made his return so unexpected. Washington planned to turn the reigns of the offense over to sophomore quarterback and former first-rounder Dwayne Haskins, with Kyle Allen reuniting with Ron Rivera to serve as the backup.
Smith wasn't expected to be in the picture, until he was. That was the point he tried to explain to the GQ reporter, and his camp wants to make it clear that there was nothing more to the quote than that.
"I talked to a source close to Alex [Smith], and one thing they want to make clear is that Alex was talking with a reporter that didn’t know anything about football," Washington Football Team reporter JP Finlay shared on his radio show Thursday afternoon. "More importantly, the message from the source is that there’s no animosity toward the organization. None of those comments were meant to make anybody mad. He was simply telling the story of what happened. And I think everybody understands that Alex had to convince the coaching staff he can play. Because nobody thought he was going to play."
Smith ended up playing a significant role for Washington in 2020, starting six games (winning five) to help lead the team to the playoffs.
The longtime NFL veteran isn't known for rocking the boat, and Finlay doesn't feel like that was Smith's intention with the GQ interview.
"I think what happens is we get very, very excited about stuff we haven’t heard before, and Alex saying he felt like he threw a wrench into the plans jumps out to us," Finlay continued. "Alex doesn’t say stuff like that very often so it jumps out. But if you take a step back, we all know it threw a wrench into the plans. The plan was [Dwayne] Haskins. And if it wasn’t Haskins it was Kyle Allen. So those are just some contextual information around that interview, that I don’t think anybody ever expected to cause as much of an uproar as it did."