With Cutler wanting out, could Simms be the Broncos' starting QB?

With Jay Cutler wanting out, could Chris Simms be the Broncos' next starting QB?

The s-word is hitting the proverbial fan in Denver and it could be good news for former Longhorn QB [tag]Chris Simms[/tag]. Broncos starting quarterback Jay Cutler has had his feelings hurt and is making it known to anyone who will listen that he wants to be traded. Simms, who signed with the Broncos earlier this month, was in line to be the number two guy but could now be the opening week starter if Cutler gets his wish. Denver will likely look for a QB in the trade or via the draft, but Simms would likely have the first shot at the starting job.


The 2005 recruiting season was an up and down one for the Texas Longhorns full of hits and big misses. Nothing had a bigger impact on the future of Texas football than the roller coaster ride that was Ryan Perrilloux. Perrilloux eventually decommitted (after months of lies) leaving the Horns with only a unheralded 3-star QB named [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag]. Guess that turned out alright after all.

Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated takes an interesting look back at the 2005 quarterback class and finds a lot of busts and only a few stars, of course including our own McCoy. Bill Walsh and [tag]Greg Davis[/tag] have a hypothesis on why QB recruiting is full of so many misses, too much focus on arm strength:

Texas offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Greg Davis says most talent evaluators put too much emphasis on a quarterback’s arm strength. Several years ago, while coaching in the East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco, Davis got to sit with 49ers legend Bill Walsh at a dinner. He asked Walsh the most important qualities he had identified in the many successful QBs he drafted.

“He didn’t hesitate,” said Davis. “No. 1, he said: ‘Accuracy.’ Then he talked about athletic ability, intelligence. Way, way down on the list was arm strength.”

Davis knows well the importance of digging beyond the recruiting rankings. During his and head coach Mack Brown’s 11-year tenure in Austin, the Longhorns have signed two QBs who were No. 1 in their class — [tag]Chris Simms[/tag] (1999) and [tag]Vince Young[/tag] (2002) — and originally received a commitment from Perrilloux.

However, they found their current star quarterback — three-year starter and 2008 Heisman runner-up Colt McCoy — tucked away at a small school in rural Tuscola, Texas. In the ’05 class, McCoy — then listed at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds — was ranked just 15th among pro-style QBs, behind Pittsburgh’s Bill Stull, Notre Dame’s Evan Sharpley and Wisconsin’s Dustin Sherer, among others.



Posted January 3rd, 2009 by Mike
Filed under: Feature, Football

The NFL is now littered with former Texas players from the [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] era. It seems like every game involves a Longhorn in the starting lineup. The biggest impacts appear to be on both lines and in the secondary while linebacker is without a doubt the weakest position. Injuries affected a few of the players 2008 season, but the program should be proud of what these guys are accomplishing.

[tag]Justin Blalock[/tag] – The Atlanta Falcon’s made the playoffs behind a great running game and solid quarterback play. The unsung unit on the team was the offensive line. Blalock has cemented himself as a starter on an upcoming team by starting all 16 games after playing in 14 last season. At Texas, Blalock played tackle, but in the NFL he has been able to slide back to his natural position of tackle. Blalock was even able to score a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

[tag]Tarell Brown[/tag] – The forgotten member of the 2005 secondary has become a solid nickel corner in the NFL for the 49ers. Brown played in 15 games and started in one. He recorded 30 tackles and two interceptions.

[tag]Cedric Benson[/tag] – The beginning of the season didn’t appear good for Benson. After being cut by the Bears it appeared no one would request his services. The Cincinnati Bengals fell apart and came calling four games into the season. Benson started 10 games, gained over 700 yards, and scored two touchdowns on the ground. He also added 20 receptions. “EL Ced” finished with two huge games; making the chance he is offered a longer deal by the Bengals a real possibility.

[tag]Tim Crowder[/tag] – Crowder struggled with injuries and the depth chart all season. He played in six games, starting zero, and recording one tackle on the whole year.

[tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] – Charles had a rookie season that has to be seen as a success. Charles sits behind Larry Johnson on the depth chart, but made plays when given the opportunity. The speedster averaged 5.3 yards per carry and added 27 receptions. His only touchdown of the season came on a reception. If Johnson isn’t retained by the Chiefs, Charles may get a look as an every down back.

[tag]Leonard Davis[/tag] – The offensive line for the Cowboys underachieved this season. Davis will go to another Pro Bowl but o-line selections are based on reputation more times than not. It was not all Davis’ fault but he did not perform at the level he did the previous year.

[tag]Phil Dawson[/tag] – Dawson was once again a lone bright spot for the Cleveland Browns franchise. He went 30/36 with a long of 56. He was perfect on extra point, but the 18 attempts magnify the struggles of the Browns offense.

[tag]Derrick Dockery[/tag] – Dockery is one of the higher paid linemen in the league, but is never as dominant as his salary would warrant.

[tag]Jermichael Finley[/tag] – Finley had a hard time getting started this season. He ended up playing in 14 games while starting one of them. The rookie finished with 6 receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown on the season.

[tag]Cedric Griffin[/tag] – Griffin has turned into a solid starting cornerback for the Vikings. He gets a lot of action playing opposite of Pro-Bowler Antoine Winfield but holds his own pretty well. Griffin plays with excellent enthusiasm and competitiveness which makes him an eager corner in run support. He played in all 16 games for the second straight season and recorded 91 tackles and a pick.

[tag]Mike Griffin[/tag] – Michael Griffin had the type of year that have made many hail him as the best defensive back to come out of the 2005 group. Griffin is a Pro-Bowl alternate after recording seven interceptions and a sack on the year. He is quickly becoming one of the best safeties in the league. His play has allowed the Titan defense to become one of the best in the league. Griffin also returns kicks for the #1 seeded Titans.

[tag]Ahmard Hall[/tag] – The former Marine has established himself as one of the last true fullbacks in the game. The Tennessee running game is one of the best in the league behind the duo of Chris Johnson and Lendale White. The two split carries with mirrored success, and the one constant is the presence of Hall. He has also become a weapon in the flat out of the backfield, recording two touchdown receptions this year.

[tag]Casey Hampton[/tag] – Hampton had a tough season as he struggled to get on the field with health and conditioning problems. When Hampton can play he remains the best 3-4 nose tackle in the game. He recorded one sack in 13 games that he was rarely able to make it all the way through.

[tag]Michael Huff[/tag] – The Thorpe award winner hasn’t lived up to his draft status so far in his career, but it is still early. Huff lost his starting job and didn’t record a sack, interception, or forced fumble on the year.

[tag]Quentin Jammer[/tag] – Jammer had another great year in San Diego. He is one of the most physical corners in the league and continually gets matched up with the opposing team’s biggest and best receiver. Jammer recorded 88 tackles, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles for the playoff bound Chargers. It has been amazing to watch the turnaround of Jammer’s play after struggling for the first few years in the NFL. The pressure of being a high pick has subsided and Jammer’s play has risen.

[tag]Derrick Johnson[/tag] – DJ has moved inside and performed well for the Chiefs. The knock on the former Texas star coming out was his unwillingness to take on blocks, and after a few years as a pro the criticism still exist. When playing in space he excels, but at the point of attack he has remained a liability. Johnson has been up and down, but has shown flashes of potential. He ended the year with 85 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one interception, and four forced fumbles. If/when the light turns on for DJ the sky is the limit.

[tag]Frank Okam[/tag] – Okam may have earned himself a roster spot for next year with his play down the stretch. He lacks the motor and intensity most coaches want out of an interior defensive lineman, but he has the tools to become a solid player in the league if he ever turns it on.

[tag]Cory Redding[/tag] – I feel bad for Cory Redding. I feel bad for any player, coach, trainer, and journalist (except Rob Parker) in Detroit. Redding was the heart and soul of their defense (if that is possible), and if he ever gets out of Detroit he may have a chance to make some noise. Until then, he’ll be rich in Detroit. He got three sacks on the year.

[tag]Brian Robison[/tag] – Robison plays behind Jerod Allen so his snaps are limited. When he is on the field he shows up and makes plays. He managed 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 15 games.

[tag]Shaun Rogers[/tag] – Shaun Rogers is the most disruptive interior lineman in football today. The guy is just huge and unstoppable when his motor is turned on. He took over games at points this season in spite of double and triple teams. Rogers will be in the Pro-Bowl again after turning in 76 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He has Hall of Fame type talent when it is all clicking for Rogers.

[tag]Aaron Ross[/tag] – He may not be the best athlete in his marriage, but the Thorpe award winner has become a better than average cornerback in a tough place to play. Ross started in every game he played, 15, and grabbed 3 interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown. Ross has the ability to be a shutdown corner as his technique and confidence continue to grow.

[tag]Bo Scaife[/tag] – Scaife has emerged as a very productive tight end even in the face of losing his quarterback and his team bringing in a big name free agent in Alge Crumpler. There were a few games where Kerry Collins completely forgot about Scaife, but he finished with 58 receptions and two touchdowns. Scaife has also become better as a blocker which allows him to stay on the field in all situations.

[tag]Lyle Sendlein[/tag] – People tend to forget about Sendlein when discussing the better offensive lineman Mack Brown has put into the NFL. Sendein has started every game of the season for a playoff team. Not too bad.

[tag]Chris Simms[/tag] – Simms is the number three quarterback on Tennessee’s roster.

[tag]Kasey Studdard[/tag] – Studdard remains a reserve lineman for the Houston Texans. He hasn’t been able to crack the starting lineup.

[tag]Limas Sweed[/tag] – Sweed is listed as the 4th receiver on the Steeler roster. One would think Sweed will contribute more after a full off season.

[tag]David Thomas[/tag] – The Patriots use a lot of tight ends in their offense, so none of them have numbers that are going to blow you away. Despite that Thomas has been able to get on the field a lot so far in his career. He pulled in nine receptions for 93 yards, but was never able to reach the end zone.

[tag]Nathan Vasher[/tag] – Injuries rendered the 2008 season a wasted one for Vasher. He played in eight games, recording one interception, before being placed on injured reserve.

[tag]Ricky Williams[/tag] – The former Heisman trophy winner and league pariah has made his comeback has a productive back in the Miami system. He was one of the many bright spots on a team full of them this year. Williams is able to make plays without being relied on to carry the full load because of the presence of Ronnie Brown. Ricky scored four touchdowns on 659 yards rushing. He may have made his biggest impact as a receiver out of the backfield where he averaged over seven yards a catch on 29 receptions.

[tag]Roy Williams[/tag] – The losing ways of the Lions followed Williams from Detroit to Dallas. Roy was never able to make an impact for the Cowboys for reasons that still remain unclear. He has proven to have the ability which leaves work ethic and injury as the two other reasons for his lack of production. Williams has unfortunately been criticized for both a lack of work ethic and inability to stay healthy in his career. He will need to have a huge year next year to justify the trade and contract Jerry Jones awarded him.

[tag]Selvin Young[/tag] – Young was another Longhorn that struggled with injury. Denver is notorious for alternating backs, and with the addition of injuries Young was never able to stay on the field. When he was healthy he produced so it will be interesting to see what the new coach in Denver decides to do with Selvin.

[tag]Vince Young[/tag] – 2008 was not a good year for VY. The greatest player in Longhorn history lost his job after one game and a knee injury, and never was even given the chance to win it back. It now appears Jeff Fisher made the right choice as Tennessee earned the #1 seed in the AFC. While they did it with defense and running the ball, Collins has done a good job in a Trent Dilfer type role. This season may end up being the best thing that has ever happened to Vince as a professional if he uses the experience in the right way.


Some really cool stats from ESPN’s Big 12 blog on how [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] and his fantastic 2008 season stack up against the best all-time seasons by Texas quarterbacks. Five games into the season, Colt’s QB rating is by far the highest and his total touchdowns are eight more than [tag]Vince Young[/tag] in 2005. The stats are also a reminder of just how good Major Applewhite’s 1999 season was. Check them out below:

Quarterback Yr RYds Avg. TD Comp% PYds Int TD Rating Record
Major Applewhite 1999 -46 -2.2 1 64.8 1,492 1 10 150.73 4-1
Chris Simms 2002 -2 -0.1 2 56.1 1,161 3 10 132.03 5-0
Vince Young 2005 355 5.5 2 62.4 1,021 5 10 162.17 5-0
Colt McCoy 2006 59 3.0 1 71.1 846 2 10 174.29 4-1
Colt McCoy 2008 317 7.0 4 79.2 1,280 3 16 197.94 5-0

Posted September 9th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

The Tennessean is reporting that former Horn [tag]Chris Simms[/tag] has signed with the Titans to backup Kerry Collins and the currently injured [tag]Vince Young[/tag].

With Titans quarterback Vince Young out indefinitely, the Titans on Tuesday began firming up their back-up plans. Those plans include veteran Chris Simms, not former Montgomery Bell Academy star Ingle Martin.

MRI results on Tuesday confirmed Young, injured in Sunday’s win over the Jaguars, has a left MCL sprain. While the team had no timetable for his return, early indications are it could keep him out anywhere from 2-4 weeks. But there were also indications the team might be prepared to let Kerry Collins lead the way if the team is playing well even when Young returns.

On Tuesday, the Titans agreed to terms with Simms, who will serve as Collins’ back-up starting with Sunday’s game at Cincinnati. Simms, a 28-year-old left-handed free agent, is expected to be on the field for the Titans on Wednesday, a day after the team auditioned three veteran quarterbacks and let Martin go to the Chiefs.

Simms will back up Collins for now and I assume compete to be the number two guy when Vince returns. If Vince’s injury is more serious there is a chance he could beat out Collins some time later in the season. Collins has been really average so if Simms is healthy he’s certainly a better long term solution.



Some quick notes on three former Longhorns…

Adam Schefter Reports Titans Think Vince Young Has a Torn MCL

Schefter is reporting that the Titans think [tag]Vince Young[/tag] tore his MCL. I am not really sure what that means. He is expected to have an MRI tomorrow. We will just have to wait and see what the MRI reveals.

Now it gets interesting. PFT is reporting that the Titans have contacted Chris Simms. If the Titans don’t have confidence that Ingle Martin, who is on the practice squad, can step in if Kerry Collins were to go down, they absolutely have to bring in another quarterback. Simms is probably the best guy available, but I would also put a call in to Daunte Culpepper to see how serious he is about retirement.


Tom Brady done for the year, Chris Simms to work out for Patriots

The Patriots are resigned to the fact that Brady likely suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and perhaps other damage in his left knee during today’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss Brady’s condition publicly. Brady exited the game after taking a hit to the knee and was replaced by backup Matt Cassel.

Free agent quarterback [tag]Chris Simms[/tag], released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their final round of roster cuts, is scheduled to work out for the Patriots on Monday and could be signed by day’s end. The Patriots also could consider free agent Tim Rattay, a source said.


Saints, Texans showing interest in Cedric Benson

Former Bears running back [tag]Cedric Benson[/tag], released by the team June 9 after two alcohol-related off-season arrests, said Saturday he has a tryout with the Houston Texans this week.

Benson also said by phone he’d had a workout with the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago and that it “went well.” Benson believes teams are waiting for his legal matters to be cleared up before signing him.



Posted July 30th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Chris SimmsWhile Brett Favre’s future team has most of the nation enthralled this week, former Longhorn quarterback [tag]Chris Simms[/tag] may also soon have a new home. He’s currently being held hostage in Tampa Bay but the Bucs appear to finally be open to finding Chris a new team. It sounds like if the team gets the right offer he could be on the move soon.

ESPN reported yesterday that the Dallas Cowboys have been interested in Simms for a while and inquired back in May about his availability. At the time the Bucs were asking for a 4th round pick in return but as the season has approached the asking price has come down and the Cowboys’ interest has renewed. Simms would be Tony Romo’s backup in Dallas if acquired. Current backup Brad Johnson is 40 years old and reportedly struggling mightily in training camp this week.

Dallas appears to be a good temporary destination for Chris, though he’d have better long term opportunities with some other interested teams including the Chicago Bears. Romo will be Dallas’ starter for the foreseeable future but Chris could compete for a starting job right away in Chicago. No matter where he ends up he’ll be better off then he is now, so hopefully a deal gets done soon.


A crossroads season for Horns QBs past and present. Simms, Young, Snead, and McCoy all face important seasons.


Posted June 10th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Chris Simms and Jon GrudenFormer Longhorn quarterback [tag]Chris Simms[/tag] is finally speaking up about what is happening to him in Tampa Bay. In an interview with the St. Petersburg Times Chris spoke bluntly about his differences with head coach Jon Gruden and believes he won’t be with the team in 2008.

Check out an excerpt from the interview below:

Chris Simms says his relationship with Jon Gruden is beyond repair and has been told he will not be with the team in 2008.

But with no trade on the horizon, the Bucs’ forgotten quarterback wants to be released immediately, bringing an end to his career in Tampa Bay that seemed inevitable after missing nearly two seasons following surgery to remove his spleen.

“I feel like I’m being held hostage,” Simms said. “I hate that all this has happened. I love Tampa. My family loves it here. But I’ve been quiet long enough. I feel like it’s time to let everybody know why I’m not out there.”

It’s definitely not a money issue for Chris, he just wants to be given a chance to play. He feels the Bucs mishandled his injury situation and despite trade opportunities have held onto him without any intention of playing him. Simms is still in the prime of his career and the season before his spleen injury had a lot of people around the league excited about his potential, hopefully he gets a chance to show what he’s capable of somewhere.


Peter King discusses Chris Simms‘ situation with the Bucs in his latest mailbag. They need to either trade him or cut him.

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