Ex-Falcons TE Hayden Hurst infers Arthur Smith is inauthentic, throws shade at Falcons

hurst hayden 2020

The Bengals added former Falcons and Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst after losing C.J. Uzomah to the Jets in free agency. Hurst spent two seasons in Baltimore but was traded to Atlanta in 2020 for a second-round pick. In his first year with the Falcons, he hauled in 56 catches for 571 yards and six touchdowns. However, the regime that traded for him was on its way out.

The new regime of Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith selected Kyle Pitts 4th overall. They still saw a role for Hurst, but it never really came to fruition. Pitts racked up over 1,000 yards as a rookie while Hurst managed just 221 yards and three touchdowns on 26 catches in 13 games. It didn’t turn out as anyone wanted, but apparently, Hurst is soured by it all, even saying how “refreshing” it is to have an “authentic” coach like Zac Taylor.

Hurst is clearly inferring that Smith is inauthentic, but those aren’t the only words he had for the Falcons. He seems completely confused by what his role was in 2021.

Via Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson:

Hurst loved the straight pitch from head coach Zac Taylor after he says he was promised things with the Falcons that didn’t happen. He says Taylor reached out to one of the tight ends in Atlanta last year, Lee Smith. It appears that Smith crossed paths with Taylor’s brother Press when they played at Marshall a dozen years ago.

“He kind of sang my praises to him and Zac ended up calling me and it was a pretty quick process,” Hurst said. “(Taylor) is extremely authentic. That’s hard to come by in this business as I’ve found out in my four years in the NFL. It’s very refreshing to hear. Very transparent.”

With Kyle Pitts on the team, Hurst was never going to be the centerpiece he felt he could be. Hurst may be a bit delusional in this aspect, even though I do believe Smith under-utilized the former Gamecock. Separation was inevitable as Hurst sees himself as a TE1, which will never happen in Atlanta with #8 still on the team.



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