"For me and Troy to keep pushing each other back and forth, I think it will only make our offense better, and definitely our team better. I would like it no other way."
Boller has struggled with his consistency with an 18-21 record as a starter and a 71.9 career quarterback rating.
Smith doesn’t have Boller’s edge of experience, but the 6-foot, 225-pound former Ohio State star does have mobility, a big arm and a trademark swagger.
"At all times, I’m going to be a leader," Smith said. "I’m going to control the things that I know how to control and I don’t worry about, ‘May the best man win.’ I just worry about the things that I can perfect within my day-to-day actions.
"It’s interesting to see the progress from the first practice to third practice in terms of the huddle and the body language. They’re getting confident making the calls now. Those two guys are leaders."
"I’m sad to see him go as a person, that was my buddy, a guy who I could really confide in at any time," Smith said. "It was a sad day for the organization, but I know we have to move on. With his absence, we definitely feel it. But I have to step up and be Troy Smith, the only Troy Smith I know and that’s to be an accountable guy, be a leader, control the things that I can control.â€
"I expect them to be themselves, but I also expect them to learn from one another and from the things that Steve brought to this organization," Mason said. "Take all that in, but be yourself."