First-year Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith is still learning how to do his new job — and also how to be a human being.
Via Erik Bacharach of the Nashville Tennessean, Smith said he apologized to rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown, after he yelled at him for getting hurt.
When Brown went down during a drill on the first day of camp, Smith barked at him for not completing the drill properly, not realizing Brown aggravated a hamstring injury which would keep him out of practice more than two weeks.
“Finish!” Smith yelled that day. “Stop (freaking) falling down and finish!”
(The stuff inside the parentheses is always the best stuff from coaches during practice.)
Now that Brown has returned to work, Smith has had the grace to apologize — after his wife made sure he was aware why he needed to.
“I felt like a jerk for that,” Smith said. “I didn’t know. I apologized to A.J. . . .
“In the moment you go back and you look at it and we were just trying to get him to finish. There’s a lot of rookies and you’re trying to set a culture. Coach [Mike] Vrabel has done a great job of doing it and we’re trying to implement it. A lot of rookies, you’re trying to remind.
“That wasn’t clearly the intent. If I had known he was hurt, I would not have gone over to do that. As soon as I realized it, I felt awful, so I walked over and said something and then I walked to the training room and apologized to him and I told him that. My wife gave me an earful about it, too. There was a video going around.”
Apparently Smith’s wife’s suggestion took hold, because Brown said his coach “apologized a couple of times. He felt bad for that one.”
And now that Brown’s feeling better, they can all laugh about it.