Stephen A. Smith, Marcus Spears and Dan Orlovsky on First Take

ESPN’s First Take aired one of its hottest takes in recent memory Thursday morning. Surprisingly, it wasn’t courtesy of Stephen A. Smith.

How many teams in NFL history have asked, “If only Dan Orlovsky was our starting quarterback? Then we’d be a playoff team!” If you asked the man himself, the New York Jets should be saying that this season. But if you ask Stephen A. Smith and Marcus Spears, no team is wishing for the former Lion to be their quarterback.

During the segment, First Take host Molly Qerim asked whether the Jets’ QB play is keeping them from a playoff run. To which Orlovsky responded, “Absolutely.” While Orlovsky’s initial response was a measured take, his next statement sent the show off the rails.

“I honestly think that if I went and played for the Jets they’d be a playoff team,” declared the 39-year-old former quarterback. “And I could barely walk up and down the stairs right now.”

Obviously, it’s a ridiculous take. But Smith and Spears couldn’t let it go unnoticed after Orlovsky prefaced it by saying “honestly.” Smith appeared absolutely stunned by Orlovsky’s take. Spears couldn’t keep from laughing as he lowered his glasses to stare at the former quarterback.

“Fix your glasses, bro,” Orlovsky fired back, a possible ode to Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe.

“When you’re the quarterback, you do have to stay in bounds in order to produce on the football field,” Smith joked, mocking Orlovsky for being the quarterback behind one of the most infamous gaffes in NFL history.

“You can’t win the game if you’re out of bounds,” Smith continued as he and Spears began to absolutely lose it with laughter. “It’s just impossible!”

Orlovsky has not taken a snap in the NFL since the 2015 season. He amassed just two wins as a starter during his career. In Orlovsky’s defense, those two wins came in just five starts for a 2-14 Indianapolis Colts team. His other seven career starts were for the 0-16 Detroit Lions, so it’s not like Orlovsky was surrounded by talent for most of his career.

But playoffs? Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I’d just hope we can win a game with a 39-year-old retired quarterback!

[First Take]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to