Ex-Raiders Coach in Hot Water After Cutting Player for Controversial Reason

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The United States Football League (USFL) finally returned after ceasing to exist all the way back in 1986. It’s offering a chance for fans to enjoy some football in the spring while giving players a chance to showcase their skills to NFL teams. While the league is off to a fine start, they could already have their first controversy involving a former Las Vegas Raiders coach.

A clip recently started going viral online of running back De’Veon Smith getting cut by the Pittsburgh Maulers for ordering a pizza instead of a chicken salad at lunch. The coach who cut Smith was longtime NFL running backs coach Kirby Wilson, who has been coaching in the pros and college since 1985. He was most recently with the Raiders last year but retired before the season started. His retirement didn’t last long as he was recently hired as the head coach for the Maulers. He’s the one who made the decision on Smith.

“Unfortunately, unfortunately — hear me out — unfortunately, the cost of doing business I’m going to have to let you go,” Wilson told Smith in the clip.

“I can tell you what happened exactly,” Smith said.

“It’s not important,” Wilson replied. “It’s not important, it’s already happened.”

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Wilson Gets Dragged for Cutting Smith

Before the XFL went under, Smith lead that league in rushing yards. He played college ball at Michigan and was briefly a member of the Washington Commanders and Miami Dolphins. He’s certainly talented enough to stay on a USFL roster. He couldn’t have foreseen that his decision to eat pizza instead of a salad would lead to him being unemployed.

While Wilson spent a long time as a respected NFL coach, people are not happy with his decision to cut Smith.

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As a new league, the USFL can’t be thrilled about garnering negative headlines quite yet but there are always two sides to a story.

Maulers Defend Wilson

Wilson is a respected coach and Raiders running back Josh Jacobs was sad when he left the team. He clearly has resonated well with players in the past. The Maulers came out and defended in a statement. They claim that Smith had multiple other violations that weren’t caught on camera, which also played a role in his release.

Wilson also had a chance to give his side of the story.

“I have a set of standards that we go by as a football team,” Wilson said. “Those standards weren’t met. That individual knew that we had a prior agreement that led to a later misunderstanding. Once those incidents were brought to my attention, I addressed them immediately.

“These are life lessons. They have nothing to do with football. You’re trying to teach people how to respect other people, no matter how you see or view them. He had immediately reached back out, apologized, committed to trying to be a better man, a better person from the incident. But we have already moved on.

“It’s very unfortunate this went out as a one-sided story, but I’ve been in this business too long. … We have a very, very high standard of football. It wasn’t met. When we have a player that steps out of line, with what we believe in as a staff, it must be dealt with. I didn’t think twice about it.”

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