Simms' spirals draw raves at Manning camp

The NFL expert raved about spinning.

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley prefers to reference ballistics.

Matt Simms just calls it throwing, and the Vols quarterback doesn't have a special way to describe his spirals.

But by any name, the way the football was coming out of his hands last week as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy at at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., certainly created a buzz around the favorite to win UT's starting job that the junior transfer hasn't had since arriving on campus.

"I don't really know how to explain it," Simms said Tuesday. "You know, I've thrown a lot of footballs in my life and just kind of learned how to throw a spiral pretty well. Over the years I've developed how to throw it pretty hard and kind of like a baseball, and that's just repetition.

"Really, I threw it good and blah, blah, blah. But the experience of hanging out with Eli and Peyton (Manning) and hearing different football stories from kids from all over the country was awesome. It was an awesome experience to be out there with a lot of high-profile quarterbacks who have established themselves as good quarterbacks, especially guys like (Alabama's Greg) McElroy and (LSU's) Jordan Jefferson in the SEC."

It certainly didn't hurt that he might have outshined both of those established arms either, and Simms definitely opened some eyes in the process.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen called him the "wow guy" on Twitter after watching him throw in a skills competition he narrowly lost, praising Simms for his arm strength, accuracy and spinning ability. McElroy also told Mortensen he wished he "had an arm like that."

Obviously there's more to playing the position than just natural talent, and for the most part there haven't been any real doubts that Simms has plenty of it.

But by his own admission Simms was missing a couple of other pieces as he tried to assert himself in a battle with Tyler Bray during his first spring with the Vols, though he's expecting more breakthroughs like he had in Louisiana now that he's settling in at UT.

"It's been different because in the spring, it was kind of like I just wanted people to believe in me even though I didn't really know what I was doing," Simms said. "Now, finally I know what I'm doing. So, really you should listen to me because I've got a better grasp of what's going on. You can ask all the coaches and all the players, I've definitely made a huge leap this summer, and that was my goal just to become more accurate with the football, better decision-making and to be quick but not to hurry.

"Probably 60 percent of the time I was lost. I just tried to convince the guys around me that I wasn't, just so they would have some sort of comfort with me in the huddle. That was definitely one of the tougher parts for me in the spring, but I played it off pretty well and I was able to survive."

The Vols will need him to do more than merely survive if a young offense is going to get off the ground against a difficult schedule.

But at least by now there shouldn't be questions about whether Simms has a big enough gun for the job.

"When we evaluate quarterbacks, one of the criteria I use is what I call his 'ballistics,' " Dooley said. "Imagine a bullet coming out of a gun. That's phenomenal ballistics, the physics of the spin and when it fires how tight the spiral is, how wound up the ball is. Matt does spin it well.

"I go on what I see, so if Chris Mortensen would have come back and said Matt Simms looked terrible, it wouldn't have changed how I felt about Matt. I've always been extremely impressed with Matt's maturity, I've been extremely impressed with his physical stature on the field, he does spin it very well and he has since he got here. I think probably the reason he's a surprise out there is because nobody has even talked about Matt Simms."

The conversation has officially started now, even if it's not all in the exact same language.

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Comments » 50

Bloodrunzorange writes:

Got about two months to get the 60% down... Hopefully the O- line will be established early....GBO!!

Agee_Vols_82 writes:

in response to et_vol_fan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That would be a good start. Keep it rolling. Go Vols!!!!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Hoping for the best with whomever the QB turns out to be. One word of caution though..........a "nice spin on the ball" right now is all well and good. It is not quite the same as some nasty defensive end or linebacker coming at you with his ears laid back in the fall. That's when good decisions will outrank how nice a spiral looks.

Again, hoping for the very best Vols. It is one thing to be saying how good someone is in July, and then hopefully he'll be just as good in September.

We'll soon know for sure !

NTNSTY writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOL, good one.

TheOpinion writes:

60% of the time it works every time.

BigOrangeFreak writes:

Hopefully, he'll be slinging alot of those spirals come fall. And hopefully, they'll be completions!

Orange_Juiced writes:

Good article with a good spin on Simms...nice to hear and should give him a boost of confidence...hearing Mort and some SEC QBs praise his arm. That will do him some good this fall.

VolFanNC writes:

Got a good feeling about Simms this year.

Sad part is that without the bar brawl....this would have been the next story in line after us getting the USC DE and would have kept the momentum going in a positive direction.

rockytopman writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and when da'troll gets a life, he can stop hanging out in other team's news sites...

Vol_in_GA writes:

A story that isn't about the brawl? Am I on the right site?

QB_10 (Inactive) writes:

Taking your game from the driving range to the course..well you know what i mean

Ayres_Hall writes:

"ESPN's Chris Mortensen called him the "wow guy" on Twitter after watching him throw in a skills competition he narrowly lost, praising Simms for his arm strength, accuracy and spinning ability."

Okay, who here is a better judge than Mort?

crimsonviper writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How about easing up ZZ.
Take that to another thread and let people talk football for a little while.
Or try it yourself,you might like it.

RoadTrip writes:

Here's one Vol that hopes Mort and Matt are telling the truth and that Matt performs as well as he talks it. As much as I liked Tyler Bray during the spring game, I know it would be the deer in the headlights look when the Ducks and the rest of the SEC gets on the field with us due to his lack of game day experience. Would be nice if we had an older, more experienced and competent QB on the field.

VolinCalif writes:

Simms played very well in Jr College football. Some of the Jr's College's have very big strong players and a rough schedule. Not the SEC, granted. Not the Pac 10, I know. But they could play against La Mor, W Ky and a few other Patsy's that some SEC and Pac 10 teams start with each year. Simms is not lacking for experience for a Jr.QB He just may shine.
Go Vols

TommyJack writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

How about easing up ZZ.
Take that to another thread and let people talk football for a little while.
Or try it yourself,you might like it.

Time of the year, Vipe. Guy is straight out of central casting at KNS.

ResilientVol writes:

in response to TheOpinion:

60% of the time it works every time.

hahahaha good one

PlaidinOrangeandWhite writes:

When does practice begin?

claiborneh writes:

Who cares how pretty a throw is. Manning often throws wobbly passes. A faster spinning ball is also not necessarily easier to catch either i.e. Joe Montana. Why is spin even part of the evaluation process.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Here's one Vol that hopes Mort and Matt are telling the truth and that Matt performs as well as he talks it. As much as I liked Tyler Bray during the spring game, I know it would be the deer in the headlights look when the Ducks and the rest of the SEC gets on the field with us due to his lack of game day experience. Would be nice if we had an older, more experienced and competent QB on the field.

Agreed. As much as I like the thought of UT having another stud freshman quarterback, the odds don't favor us winning many games with Bray under center, especially considering our OL situation. It would be great if Simms can play like a veteran and help us overcome some of our other deficiencies. That would give Bray time to grow into his body, and the job.

shaymous writes:

in response to rockytopman:

and when da'troll gets a life, he can stop hanging out in other team's news sites...

lol:), good one Rocky....

fUTureVol writes:

The defense was suppossed to be our strong suit, now I'm worried we won't have a single DT over 250lbs with all of this Bar brawl phooey and the negative potential it brings. Somebody please tell me I'm wrong!

196SVol writes:

in response to DC_BackByPopularDemand:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DofC..here is a good article on Brantley.

http://www.athlonsports.com/college-f...

ps11824 writes:

Why don't those big 'look at me' knotholes hanging out late-night in bars think of constructive ways to spend their leisure? Rest and grow my mind and body OR go out and get into a brawl? Which do I do to become a great athlete? What must I do to show appreciation for my bagillion$$ scholarship?

I'd like to slap these ingrates up side the head and tell them just how unintelligent they really are. They barely have enough sense to spell university, much less be a student athlete.

I think any college athlete who goes out, while on the clock, and gets his hind end into stupid criminal activities should have to pay back every $ of my tax money. They are a liability to society. They steal my tax dollars. They waste valuable space in the classroom where hundreds of kids cannot afford to further their education.

Kick the worthless jocks to the curb and give that scholly to someone who's grateful to be A University of Tennessee Volunteer. Someone who will wear the Orange with pride, and do the absolute best they can to earn the right to be a part of the family.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

I don’t care how tight his spiral is, even though I’m sure that’s a good thing. I’m more excited that he knows the playbook better at this point. Hopefully that will pay dividends going into the season.

TurboVol writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hahahahaha...awesome !

537081 writes:

Good to see someone is thinking about football. All you guys trying to do the right thing, just hang in their Coach will get you on the right track. Just work for him and try to do what he and his staff are trying to do. GBO

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to DC_BackByPopularDemand:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who?

SouthPaVol writes:

I think Simms will be fine, but I plan to cheer for the Big Orange whether it is Simms, Bray, or an unknown QB with a bag on his head. Go Vols!

Smokey_Told_Me writes:

Heath was the last Vol QB that could put a vapor trail behind a thrown ball. Manning did not have Heath's velocity but did have a little more range and more accuracy. The last Vol QB to talk about how much summer progress that he had made was Crompton. All three made it to the NFL. ...Just thinking out loud.

Smokey knows where the bones are buried.

orangecountyvols writes:

To follow up on Heath's arm.........I remember reading in one of his first practices in the indoor facility, he threw it 70 yards flat footed, and the ball hit 10 feet high on the opposite wall. Also, one of his throws cracked the receivers helmet on a crossing pattern. He was a tailback playing QB, IMO.
Just wish he had stayed the 4th year.

Jakevol writes:

Spin Doctor. We need something good news, good to hear something postive.

topgun writes:

in response to ps11824:

Why don't those big 'look at me' knotholes hanging out late-night in bars think of constructive ways to spend their leisure? Rest and grow my mind and body OR go out and get into a brawl? Which do I do to become a great athlete? What must I do to show appreciation for my bagillion$$ scholarship?

I'd like to slap these ingrates up side the head and tell them just how unintelligent they really are. They barely have enough sense to spell university, much less be a student athlete.

I think any college athlete who goes out, while on the clock, and gets his hind end into stupid criminal activities should have to pay back every $ of my tax money. They are a liability to society. They steal my tax dollars. They waste valuable space in the classroom where hundreds of kids cannot afford to further their education.

Kick the worthless jocks to the curb and give that scholly to someone who's grateful to be A University of Tennessee Volunteer. Someone who will wear the Orange with pride, and do the absolute best they can to earn the right to be a part of the family.

Hi, 98, in to football now??

Usually, I agree with 99% of your posts, especially about the lady vols, but here you are wrong about the football players spending/wasting your tax dollars. The athletic program is fully funded by it's own resources--donations, ticket sales, etc., and NOT tax revenues.

AND, before we start firing up "old sparky" or rushing to the nearest "hangin' tree" for all of the kids who were at the "bar", why don't we wait until all the facts are revealed and a few scant elements of truth are found??

AND, it seems to me that if I had been there and a fight broke out, I would want to leave--more like run like crazy--to get out of there and if some out of uniform, off duty cop yelled at me to stop--Guess what??--I would keep running. If some one tried to stop me, or push me--I would push back and keep on running.......Call me a thug, if you wish!

Also, it seems that almost everyone is way too quick to say that the cop was kicked in the (head?) while on the ground---by a UT player????? Any proof of that????

AND, I would believe the UT kids' version of what happened about as fast or before I would believe any bar employee or other persons who were in the fight. The bar doesn't have security cameras for a reason.

So, VOL fans, why don't we just cool it for a while and let the legal system and CDD handle this?? GOVOLS!!

givehim6 writes:

in response to Vol_in_GA:

A story that isn't about the brawl? Am I on the right site?

Yes, finaly some go UT football news!

CarbonCopy (Inactive) writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That was funny dude

Fulton_Vol writes:

in response to claiborneh:

Who cares how pretty a throw is. Manning often throws wobbly passes. A faster spinning ball is also not necessarily easier to catch either i.e. Joe Montana. Why is spin even part of the evaluation process.

Spin is a huge part of a pass down field. The tighter the spin the more accurate, easier to catch for the most part, and faster the ball arrives at its target. Wobble in the spin equals a more difficult ball to catch, less accurate, slower ball and more interceptions. When a ball wobbles it's harder to hold onto when it arrives to the target because there is four forces on it instead of two that is a present when a ball is thrown in a tight spiral. It's all about the physics, meaning speed, rotation and force. That is why spin/spiral is part of the evaluation process.

Smokey_Told_Me writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

To follow up on Heath's arm.........I remember reading in one of his first practices in the indoor facility, he threw it 70 yards flat footed, and the ball hit 10 feet high on the opposite wall. Also, one of his throws cracked the receivers helmet on a crossing pattern. He was a tailback playing QB, IMO.
Just wish he had stayed the 4th year.

I remember reading something about that too. Heath was trying to hit the goal post at the spot where the horizontal beam meets the vertical post on the left side. He hit the spot and won a bet. I also remember in the Citrus Bowl (no UF troll flak please) when he hit a receiver in the face mask and the ball was wedged there for a couple of seconds. Like many Vols, I also wish he had stayed for his 4th year.

...Smokey knows where the bones are buried.

mjmsaysgovols writes:

in response to topgun:

Hi, 98, in to football now??

Usually, I agree with 99% of your posts, especially about the lady vols, but here you are wrong about the football players spending/wasting your tax dollars. The athletic program is fully funded by it's own resources--donations, ticket sales, etc., and NOT tax revenues.

AND, before we start firing up "old sparky" or rushing to the nearest "hangin' tree" for all of the kids who were at the "bar", why don't we wait until all the facts are revealed and a few scant elements of truth are found??

AND, it seems to me that if I had been there and a fight broke out, I would want to leave--more like run like crazy--to get out of there and if some out of uniform, off duty cop yelled at me to stop--Guess what??--I would keep running. If some one tried to stop me, or push me--I would push back and keep on running.......Call me a thug, if you wish!

Also, it seems that almost everyone is way too quick to say that the cop was kicked in the (head?) while on the ground---by a UT player????? Any proof of that????

AND, I would believe the UT kids' version of what happened about as fast or before I would believe any bar employee or other persons who were in the fight. The bar doesn't have security cameras for a reason.

So, VOL fans, why don't we just cool it for a while and let the legal system and CDD handle this?? GOVOLS!!

amen brother...methinks we may have had some players involved, but to what extent is unknown, whether big or small, they should be punished...i.e. Mr Miles who should have been gone a long time ago...funny how they still have not identified the culprit who "beat up and kicked the off duty cop"...just sayin

akwelker writes:

in response to BigOrangeFreak:

Hopefully, he'll be slinging alot of those spirals come fall. And hopefully, they'll be completions!

That's exactly it. A tight spiral doesn't do us any good if it is a tight spiral into the defense's hands or 20 feet over the receiver's hands.

ps11824 writes:

❛❛ In response to 98reax:
Hi, 98, in to football now??

Usually, I agree with 99% of your posts, especially about the lady vols, but here you are wrong about the football players spending/wasting your tax dollars. The athletic program is fully funded by it's own resources--donations, ticket sales, etc., and NOT tax revenues. ❛❛

Yeseree, I'm into whatever the Vols are playing. Playing, being the operative word. It matters not who funds what. If a student athlete is 'sloffing off ' doing things detrimental to the program and The University as a whole, they are wasting my tax dollars, and yours. No matter what sport they are in, hanging out late-night in a bar is not the most beneficial way to spend time.

I'm sure all the kids in the bar were not scholarship athletes. The kids who are have a certain standard to live up to. Why must we lower our standards? Why shouldn't we want our student athletes to rise above the fray as they wear The Orange? We certainly want them to be the best they can be when they compete, don't we?

Putting oneself in a precarious position has proven to be extremely costly for many of our Vols. Why risk a golden opportunity? Ask a few of those who have been stripped of their right to be Vols.

I suppose I take things personally when it comes to trusting a kid enough to allow him to be a Tennessee Volunteer only to see him go out and hang with the wrong crowd in the wrong place. If I'm out there driving after a few beers and somebody dodging a deer hits me broadside, I'm in deep dodo even though I did not cause the accident. That's just the way it is, dude. I'm wise to create the best scenario for avoiding trouble IF I really appreciate my golden opportunity to be A Tennessee Volunteer student athlete.

If you think our tax dollars are not being spent foolishly on special privileges at UT, keep on thinking that if it makes you happy, topgun.

Colliervol writes:

in response to mjmsaysgovols:

amen brother...methinks we may have had some players involved, but to what extent is unknown, whether big or small, they should be punished...i.e. Mr Miles who should have been gone a long time ago...funny how they still have not identified the culprit who "beat up and kicked the off duty cop"...just sayin

"May have had some players involved." Really? Looks to me like half the starting defense was involved.

Seriously, the wheels of justice turn very slowly in cases like this. Stay tuned.

ChuyitoDawg writes:

Hey Boys,

I don't mean to rain on your parade but you may want to take a good, hard look at your O-line before getting excited about this guy's potential. Not a know against Simms at all. I find it hard to believe that your stats will be impressive at all unless you have an effective O-line, especially when you play in the SEC. Trust me, even Stafford (#1 overall pick) did not display all his potential for us. I will take an average SEC QB with an excellent O-line any day of the week. The Crimson Queens just pulled out a NC with what I just mentioned.

Just my opinion. Can't wait to see you boys come down to Athens.

ChuyitoDawg writes:

"Not a knock against...." My bad.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

After the O&W game those same spirals were drawing raves from the D.

jesusvol4 writes:

Well now, that is great to hear that he can throw the football like a bullllllllettttt. The only catch to that is exactly that, it must be a catchable throw. Can he throw it where he needs to throw it, and throw it with touch when he needs to? We will find out sooooooooon. Get ready for some REAL FOOOOOOTBALLL Sims.It will not be a Manning camp. I wish you and the team well. Go VOLS!

cloudodust writes:

I'd throw a nice spiral too if 575 lbs of defense wasn't bearing down on me. I'm still refelcting on the O&W game and what I saw in that controlled scrimmage. Still have questions, still have doubts...

StuAberdeeneFan writes:

All that matters is who can best get us down the field, protect the ball, and manage the clock. Time will remind us of the orange & white game. Tyler Bray is the man! He will kill defenses with the new TE system. Needs protection. Simms will be a great backup QB.

hueypilot writes:

in response to Euro_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We'll see. Competition is good. Makes them both better.
As for no o line, maybe a little mobility while throwing. You can move the ball without dominating each player on the field. Look at Air Force's offense.

We moved the pocket with Crompton last year and a so so offensive line and the running game didn't suck.

We can be competitive if we minimize mistakes and guard against our weaknesses. It'll be interesting to watch.

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to FreeTDTN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not going to be pretty running the ball with no established offensive line. Going to be 3 and out without a good mix of passing.

Tennfan4075 writes:

in response to Jamestown17:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As in spiral when rolling some drugs for smoking purposes. Since Chris was recently arrested he would fit in nicely with the weekend crowd and the bar fights. I think the crowd at the Knoxville bar maybe somewhat redneck for Chris, he takes his show to NYC.

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