Steve Smith Sr. is good at a lot of things. He’s likely a future Hall of Fame inductee because of his abilities on the football field, and he was also a legendary trash talker, someone who seemingly got better at football the more he verbally sparred with an opponent.
Just because Smith done with football doesn’t mean that skill set has gone away. Smith is a regular on NFL Network in retirement, and as another former player who has found a career in broadcasting, he can certainly judge how other athletes have made that transition. At the NFL Combine on Saturday, he made it clear that he wasn’t a huge fan of Jason Witten’s work on ESPN.
News broke earlier in the week that Witten would leave ESPN and return to the Dallas Cowboys after a shaky rookie year as a broadcaster on Monday Night Football. The the former tight end struggled as an analyst on one of the league’s top broadcasts, and when Smith was asked if he had a similar comeback in him, he made it clear he’s happy where he is.
Smith Sr. was asked about a comeback in the context of Witten, and he hesitated before letting his shot go.
“You want the truth about that or you want me to let that go?” he asked. “I’m actually good on TV so I’m just going to stay here.”
To be clear, Smith was given an out by Rich Eisen, who tried to steer the conversation away from Witten and his uneven role on TV. But he didn’t hold back, and it created one of the funnier moments on a broadcast that, boiled down to its essence, is about weighing and measuring potential football players.
Smith is legendarily competitive and was absolutely taking stock of other players and how they’ve done adapting to TV. It seems he wasn’t a very big fan of what Witten was doing on the air.