Simms' father wary of advice

Patriarch of QB family tries to just relax and watch

Know your Vols - Matt Simms: Junior, quarterback

Genetics are certainly playing some sort of role for Matt Simms.

From father down to gunslinging sons, there's obviously something at work inside a family that's produced enough talent to go three-deep at the most important position on the football field.

But Tennessee's new starter wasn't born reading a playbook, and he also hasn't had the easiest path to a winning a job with the Vols after stops at Louisville and a California junior college. Certainly there are advantages to having a Super Bowl-winner and another current NFL quarterback on speed dial, though the guy responsible for the QB DNA isn't sure exactly how much it might be worth.

"That's a good question," former New York Giants star Phil Simms said by phone this week. "Honestly, sometimes I don't know - I really don't. Of course, I can tell Matthew things, and I'm a genius after the fact. You know, I try to say things, but it's a very fine line.

"I know when my sons get on the phone with me, sometimes I'm sure they're hesitant to call me because they don't want to hear it. And of course, I get mad at myself for not speaking up more. And then, I'll get mad at myself if I know I've crossed the line. So, there are really times that we talk where there's nothing said about football. When I do say things about football - I mean, come on - I try to work them in somehow, very casually."

The eldest Simms still makes his living talking about football on CBS, so totally cutting it out of the conversation seems like a bit of a stretch. And now with his oldest son, Chris, playing in Nashville with the Titans and his youngest preparing for his first start with the Vols on Saturday against UT Martin, there's plenty for the family to chat about.

It's also not the first time a discussion has centered around Tennessee and a Simms, though the well-documented decommitment of Chris in 1999 wasn't exactly a high note for the Vols. Either way, Phil has always held the program in high regard, and he still wound up with a son taking its snaps.

"I'm a fan," he said. "Of course, I saw Tennessee as long as I can remember, and I know football is important to the people down there. I know the program and where it stands with the university, and of course I knew that when Christopher was coming out (of high school). I liked it when he came out, and for fathers of quarterbacks - anybody really, but more at the position of quarterback than any other one of the field - it has to fit.

"The timing of it and everything else, the style, I thought it fit Christopher perfectly when he was coming out. I really feel the same way about Matthew, that the school, where they're at now and the coaching, really from the head coach - I don't know any of them, but all of them, the coordinators, I watch what they do, it does fit him."

And Matt has looked increasingly more comfortable in that system after spending all summer working to improve his knowledge of the offense. It clearly didn't come quickly or easily to him in the spring, and he has admitted on several occasions he was faking his way through those early workouts while also trying to establish himself as a leader for a new set of teammates.

Now he's firmly entrenched at both his position and as one of the spokesmen for his team - a trait that seems to run in the family.

"I'll never forget, my oldest Christopher was playing his first game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they were actually over in Japan," Phil said. "He called, and with the time difference it worked out somehow, and I got on the phone and I said, 'Well, there's nothing I can really say to you because I know they have covered every single point.' He laughed and goes, 'Don't worry, Dad. We've covered it all.' I said, 'Well, good, I'll sit back and watch.'

"It was a really funny conversation we had about it, because I knew what he was going through. I think the life of a quarterback - even in high school, and college, of course - they cover it all. It is an all-encompassing job. Being a college football player, it's a job. But who are we kidding? It's OK, it's the greatest job in the world."

Unlike some other family businesses, the sons don't get to simply inherit dad's job. But he certainly appears to have put them on the right track.

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Comments » 34

The7Maxims writes:

Nice read. I have always wondered why Chris Simms never came to Knoxville. It worked out with Casey Clausen, but I think Chris Simms would have been an interesting addition back then.

On another note, I hope Matt has a successful year. I think he'll be protected well by a strong commitment to a running game. That should open up the play-action passing game. I expect Stocker and Rivera to be Simms' best friends, while Rogers and (eventually) Hunter get adjusted. One more week, and I'll be back on Rocky Top. Man, I miss Burger Day at Copper Cellar.

VolsINFan writes:

I hope that Matt Sims comes in and produces. We are all anxious and tired of talk about things that we all want to put behind us as Vols fans. I am getting more excited by the day as the kickoff approaches for the '10 season. I hope The Vols come out and lay the lumber on UT-Martin next Saturday night, and start to take out the frustrations we have all felt for the past 18 months on the 12 unfortunate opponents on the schedule.

Go Vols!

orangecountyvols writes:

Good comments 7

Go Vols!

spacehistorian writes:

I have read several different preseason football predictions for the SEC & there are many out there putting us 5th in the East with a 4-8 or 5-7 record. I hope that Simms steps up & leads a team that few outside Vol Nation expect much out of to surprise some of the elite teams in the conference to go 7-5 & finish 3rd in the East. ESPN had their NCAA Football preview show on this evening and someone asked Corso if Tennessee would be a factor in the conference and he literally snorted & said no way the Vols would matter this year. I won't repeat what I said when Corso made his "professional" prognostication for our beloved Vols. I think we will surprise some people but we have a tough schedule this season.

The7Maxims writes:

Randy Moore had an interesting perspective in his article on Scout. He suggested that our best case scenario this year would be 8-4. That includes wins over UAB, UT Martin, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Memphis, and Vandy. He had this to say about Oregon and LSU:

"2. The Vols have a legitimate chance to upset Oregon at Neyland Stadium in Game 2. For one thing, teams typically fall flat after crossing three time zones. Secondly, Vol defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox limited the Ducks to 152 total yards, six first downs and eight points as the coordinator at Boise State last fall. Third, Knoxville's heat and humidity may adversely affect Oregon, even with a 7 p.m. kickoff. That could be win No. 6.
"3. Derek Dooley very nearly beat LSU in Baton Rouge with Louisiana Tech's players last fall. His Bulldogs ran 84 plays to the Tigers' 52, held the ball 36:22 to LSU's 23:38, outgained the hosts 322-246 in total yards and led 13-10 at halftime before wilting in a 24-16 loss. Dooley will have better players, better assistants and better depth at his disposal when he travels to Baton Rouge this time. That would be seven wins."

Many have already pointed out JW's experience against Chip Kelly's offense at Oregon. However, I like Moore's point about LSU. If LSU's offense is as bad as many suspect it will be, that would be our best chance at a surprise upset.

orangebloodgmc writes:

in response to The7Maxims:

Randy Moore had an interesting perspective in his article on Scout. He suggested that our best case scenario this year would be 8-4. That includes wins over UAB, UT Martin, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Memphis, and Vandy. He had this to say about Oregon and LSU:

"2. The Vols have a legitimate chance to upset Oregon at Neyland Stadium in Game 2. For one thing, teams typically fall flat after crossing three time zones. Secondly, Vol defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox limited the Ducks to 152 total yards, six first downs and eight points as the coordinator at Boise State last fall. Third, Knoxville's heat and humidity may adversely affect Oregon, even with a 7 p.m. kickoff. That could be win No. 6.
"3. Derek Dooley very nearly beat LSU in Baton Rouge with Louisiana Tech's players last fall. His Bulldogs ran 84 plays to the Tigers' 52, held the ball 36:22 to LSU's 23:38, outgained the hosts 322-246 in total yards and led 13-10 at halftime before wilting in a 24-16 loss. Dooley will have better players, better assistants and better depth at his disposal when he travels to Baton Rouge this time. That would be seven wins."

Many have already pointed out JW's experience against Chip Kelly's offense at Oregon. However, I like Moore's point about LSU. If LSU's offense is as bad as many suspect it will be, that would be our best chance at a surprise upset.

One more thing about LSU ... They are muttering uneasy about Miles and staff now. When we face them in 5th game of the season, they will have played tough NC and W VA teams ... There's a chance LSU could be 2-2 when they play us and in that scenario there would be doubt, if not panic, in Baton Rouge and we would be viewed as a must-win. I think we could play loose as underdog.

volman79 writes:

F*** corso he is a moron anyway! As for the others their all douche bags! GO VOLS

khelton657 writes:

Chris sounds like a good father....good article

The7Maxims writes:

in response to spacehistorian:

I have read several different preseason football predictions for the SEC & there are many out there putting us 5th in the East with a 4-8 or 5-7 record. I hope that Simms steps up & leads a team that few outside Vol Nation expect much out of to surprise some of the elite teams in the conference to go 7-5 & finish 3rd in the East. ESPN had their NCAA Football preview show on this evening and someone asked Corso if Tennessee would be a factor in the conference and he literally snorted & said no way the Vols would matter this year. I won't repeat what I said when Corso made his "professional" prognostication for our beloved Vols. I think we will surprise some people but we have a tough schedule this season.

I heard something that would really get Corso choked up. I heard a guy on Rivals Radio with Bill King back when expansion was the hot topic. Specifically, he was talking Texas and when Mac Brown eventually stepped down and Muschamp taking over. He said that Mac Brown looks like he wants to work in broadcasting and would be the most likely replacement for the stumbling idiot up at ESPN. I could see Corso "snorting" shortly after Muschamp begins his era in Texas. Wasn't Mac Brown up at ESPN a few weeks ago?

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to WEAREBETTERTHANVANDY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kind of like when you ask a woman for a date.

cloudodust writes:

Corso has had a love affair with farm animals (longhorns), tree nuts (buckeyes), bog lizards (gators) for years. The guy wears whatever hat is the hat for the day. To me, the guy is the original Red Hat Lady...I waste no time listening to his drival.

arkyvol writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i remember that. simm's excuse was a major league cop-out, ignoring the fact that the vols had a black q.b. and a black captain before he was born. the up side was that chris simms was (and is) a major league bust, in texas and in the n.f.l. it was the lightly regarded applewhite who was called in to bail out the horn's butts, time after time. i guarantee you that there are more horns fans who remember the major fondly than can recall the simms name.

TommyJack writes:

Corso may have snorted, but I'm not sure he is worng. Give it another year or so.
As for Mack Brown on ESPN??? The man is utterly boring. Corso is at least good for a couple of yucks.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Shoot, at 10 p.m., our guys haven't even gotten ready to go out bar hopping yet.

One at a time. Let's get UTM and then we'll worry about Oregon.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Wow, some of you still hold a grudge against Chris Simms. And how long ago was that?

volnbig11land writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Wow, some of you still hold a grudge against Chris Simms. And how long ago was that?

Doesn't matter how long ago it was. He painted a bad picture of the Vols. Enough said.

p.s. he stunk at Texas and he stinks in the pros.

Newwaveofvolsfans1 writes:

in response to The7Maxims:

Randy Moore had an interesting perspective in his article on Scout. He suggested that our best case scenario this year would be 8-4. That includes wins over UAB, UT Martin, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Memphis, and Vandy. He had this to say about Oregon and LSU:

"2. The Vols have a legitimate chance to upset Oregon at Neyland Stadium in Game 2. For one thing, teams typically fall flat after crossing three time zones. Secondly, Vol defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox limited the Ducks to 152 total yards, six first downs and eight points as the coordinator at Boise State last fall. Third, Knoxville's heat and humidity may adversely affect Oregon, even with a 7 p.m. kickoff. That could be win No. 6.
"3. Derek Dooley very nearly beat LSU in Baton Rouge with Louisiana Tech's players last fall. His Bulldogs ran 84 plays to the Tigers' 52, held the ball 36:22 to LSU's 23:38, outgained the hosts 322-246 in total yards and led 13-10 at halftime before wilting in a 24-16 loss. Dooley will have better players, better assistants and better depth at his disposal when he travels to Baton Rouge this time. That would be seven wins."

Many have already pointed out JW's experience against Chip Kelly's offense at Oregon. However, I like Moore's point about LSU. If LSU's offense is as bad as many suspect it will be, that would be our best chance at a surprise upset.

I have been saying UT can beat lsu for months now,glad to see am not alone in this assumption.

vol75 writes:

I hope Phil taught the younger son more about honoring a commitment than the older son. Loiusville to JC to Tennessee. The commitment test will come the first time Bray steps on the field.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to RichieRich:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was surprised to read your comment. I have a lot of respect for your opinion, and you seem to be much more knowledgeable about football than me, and most of the other posters. But, I'm having trouble agreeing with you on this one. I sure hope you're right.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

Kind of like when you ask a woman for a date.

That comment puts you in the lead for best retort of the day.

VolfanKY writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He was saying Dooley will have more depth than he did at La tech, not LSU.

allntl1#565211 writes:

Herbstreit is the one guy who seems to be worthy of listening to on ESPN. Corso is a clown waiting to put on his costume.

jobrando#216494 writes:

I just hope he can handle the mental part. If he can an 8 win season is my guess. If he gets rattled easily then 6 wins could be possible and Bray see's time.

QB_10 (Inactive) writes:

Phil Simms is a solid reporter, but as for his tactics at UT this includes Texas and Tenn. Folks CDD is going to see firsthand why UL pushed Matt Simms to the curb...This kid is just not that good of a QB, he knows it and sad but true, his teammates know it.

This by the way has nothing to do with Phil Simms flying into Knoxville to work CDD to get his son the job....Phil Simms is just like Craig James a helicopter dada who's kids are not that good and stole jobs from others..

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to The7Maxims:

Randy Moore had an interesting perspective in his article on Scout. He suggested that our best case scenario this year would be 8-4. That includes wins over UAB, UT Martin, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Memphis, and Vandy. He had this to say about Oregon and LSU:

"2. The Vols have a legitimate chance to upset Oregon at Neyland Stadium in Game 2. For one thing, teams typically fall flat after crossing three time zones. Secondly, Vol defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox limited the Ducks to 152 total yards, six first downs and eight points as the coordinator at Boise State last fall. Third, Knoxville's heat and humidity may adversely affect Oregon, even with a 7 p.m. kickoff. That could be win No. 6.
"3. Derek Dooley very nearly beat LSU in Baton Rouge with Louisiana Tech's players last fall. His Bulldogs ran 84 plays to the Tigers' 52, held the ball 36:22 to LSU's 23:38, outgained the hosts 322-246 in total yards and led 13-10 at halftime before wilting in a 24-16 loss. Dooley will have better players, better assistants and better depth at his disposal when he travels to Baton Rouge this time. That would be seven wins."

Many have already pointed out JW's experience against Chip Kelly's offense at Oregon. However, I like Moore's point about LSU. If LSU's offense is as bad as many suspect it will be, that would be our best chance at a surprise upset.

That makes perfect sense..Some interesting points in Moore's analysis.

ncvol17 writes:

why did Simms leave Louisville? anybody actually know the reason, I would be interested. Who beat him out and what is that kid doing now? Inquiring minds want to know.

snowvol writes:

All the bluster about Lee Corso... does it really matter? There are two scenarios to think about when someone like Corso, who's paid for his opinion, not his allegiance to the Vols, scoffs at the Vols (or any other team): One, if the Vols do play middle-of-the-pack football and finish around .500, he was right. But two, if the Vols step up and have a great season, he'll also step up and say so. He's done it for years with any number of teams but most fans only hear the perceived slaps in the face.

I love the Vols but I certainly don't see us contending for the East championship...not this season anyway. I really don't see what he said being any different than what Vols fans-friends of mine (and I'm sure many of you) have discussed.

If and when the Vols get back to elite status in the college football world, no one will be snorting, sneering and scoffing at Tennessee. But - we have to get there, first.

volpreacher writes:

in response to QB_10:

Phil Simms is a solid reporter, but as for his tactics at UT this includes Texas and Tenn. Folks CDD is going to see firsthand why UL pushed Matt Simms to the curb...This kid is just not that good of a QB, he knows it and sad but true, his teammates know it.

This by the way has nothing to do with Phil Simms flying into Knoxville to work CDD to get his son the job....Phil Simms is just like Craig James a helicopter dada who's kids are not that good and stole jobs from others..

QB10, I don't trust your comments because I have a suspicion you are a VY fan and he definitely isn't a good qb.

The7Maxims writes:

in response to snowvol:

All the bluster about Lee Corso... does it really matter? There are two scenarios to think about when someone like Corso, who's paid for his opinion, not his allegiance to the Vols, scoffs at the Vols (or any other team): One, if the Vols do play middle-of-the-pack football and finish around .500, he was right. But two, if the Vols step up and have a great season, he'll also step up and say so. He's done it for years with any number of teams but most fans only hear the perceived slaps in the face.

I love the Vols but I certainly don't see us contending for the East championship...not this season anyway. I really don't see what he said being any different than what Vols fans-friends of mine (and I'm sure many of you) have discussed.

If and when the Vols get back to elite status in the college football world, no one will be snorting, sneering and scoffing at Tennessee. But - we have to get there, first.

I think most people are disgusted by the level of disrespect Corso is showing. I don't recall anybody snorting at the mention of Nebraska back when they were struggling to find their way. The guy is terrible on ESPN. He stumbles over his words so much that no one can understand what he's saying. His "gimmicks" is tired and lacks the comedy they once held. I will be glad we he is replaced.

gatorhader writes:

in response to volnbig11land:

Doesn't matter how long ago it was. He painted a bad picture of the Vols. Enough said.

p.s. he stunk at Texas and he stinks in the pros.

He stinks at Titans camp too...whew!

wcirwin64#584242 writes:

Corso was a BIG Johnny Majors fan and still thinks UT shafted his pal. That's one reason he scoffs at us. The other is that, on paper, we do not look very competitive. But remember 1985,1989,2004, & 2007. We didn't look to good on paper those years either.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to volman79:

F*** corso he is a moron anyway! As for the others their all douche bags! GO VOLS

Also, Corso was a friend of Johnny Majors, so he has been down on UT ever since Fulmer replaced Majors. He was famously not impressed with our '98 champion team. If UT went undefeated two years in a row with two national championships, Corso would still find something wrong with them.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to wcirwin64#584242:

Corso was a BIG Johnny Majors fan and still thinks UT shafted his pal. That's one reason he scoffs at us. The other is that, on paper, we do not look very competitive. But remember 1985,1989,2004, & 2007. We didn't look to good on paper those years either.

That's what I get for not scrolling down before replying. I should have known that some other knowledgeable fan would have picked up on the Corso-Majors relationship.

cooper65#432178 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I have lived in Texas for the last 25 years among tu shorthorn fans. I love Texas but despise the horns. I definitely believe simms was made promises. It's also obvious he made a big mistake. Mack Brown is a horrendous X's and O's coach and cannot prepare QBs for the NFL. Horns fans were irate over the treatment of Major Applewhite. Major had the mental toughness and courage under fire, Simms was so clearly lacking. But that was Chris not Matt.

GO VOLS!

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