Simms gets into the flow

QB 'back to normal' after hand surgery

Matt Simms - midterm enrollee

Matt Simms - midterm enrollee

Matt Simms doesn't have to work only on his legs anymore.

The junior college transfer also is free to get back on the field and get to know new teammates at Tennessee.

A surgically repaired hand is healed, he's cleared for spring practice and, perhaps most important, the quarterback is throwing without any problems or lingering concerns about the broken bone that ended his last season at El Camino (Calif.) College. Heading into what could be a wild, lengthy battle for the starting job at UT, feeling normal again is about all Simms could want right now.

"The surgery was pretty tough," Simms said. "It was definitely a pretty tough injury to go through, especially at the end of the year like that and then coming here right away. But we've got a great training room staff here, and they've definitely helped me out a lot.

"I'm throwing the ball a lot better, I'm feeling good, I'm lifting, so I'm back to normal finally."

That complete package could make Simms a legitimate threat to emerge as the replacement for Jonathan Crompton under center, though more tough tests will be coming when camp officially opens for the Vols on March 18.

Senior Nick Stephens likely will be the favorite considering his experience, and true freshman Tyler Bray also has the tools to be a factor for UT as he develops physically. But if there's still some uncertainty how the Vols will manage a race that will feature at least those three passers, there at least isn't any doubt that Simms will be able to compete.

"You know, it was kind of tough just working back and trying to get strength back in my upper body, because for a while I couldn't really move (the hand) very much," Simms said. "I had a few pins in there so they didn't want it to collapse or something like that, so really I had to just not do anything for a while. It had to be all legs, and they finally sent me back out and I'm back to normal.

"At the time I was just finishing up school at junior college, and really it was just about finishing school strong even though I was injured. My family was really supportive of me and just told me that I had bigger things to look forward to next year, and it's all about getting healthy the right way and just moving forward."

The next step will be the competition to become Derek Dooley's first quarterback at UT, though details about how exactly the new coach will try to sort it out remain a bit of a mystery.

Publicly there's been no plan laid out for spreading around reps, establishing a depth chart or setting a timeline for any decisions - though it would be no surprise if a starter wasn't named until fall. But no matter how the Vols plan on doing it, Simms is ready to get started - and healthy enough to do it.

"No matter who is in the race or what's going on, you just have to improve your skills every day," Simms said. "You've got to be a team player, and if somebody else is in there taking a rep, you've got to be in there behind them supporting them, and when you step in there you have to take charge and do your thing. The biggest thing is just taking one step at a time, just learning the offense as best as you can, getting to know the teammates and stuff like that, just becoming a complete team player.

"I mean, really it's uncertainty for everybody. Going into the break, we're all working hard. We're all on an even keel right now, so as far as that goes, we'll see what happens when spring starts. It's going to be interesting."

But that's just another normal part of being a quarterback. Right now, Simms has no problem with that.

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Comments » 125

letthebigdoghunt writes:

Let the games begin! What's the story on the Lamaison kid?

stayingorange writes:

QB should be very competitive this spring. Hopefully that will push them to be even better.

ArealVolFan writes:

lol at anyone thinking Lamaison will be a factor in the qb race.

Bloodrunzorange writes:

Nice update! Go Vols!

tapeworm writes:

Gotta say, Simms was a washout at Louisville. No reason to think he'll be in the picture at UT. He wasn't happy being a backup at Louisville, so there's no reason to think he'll feel any different at UT.

CHITOWNVOL writes:

Just read this article on Scout. I agree with the Berry and Williams synopsis. Totally disagree with Rico McCoy's fate. He is draft worthy. Sadly enough, I agree with Rogan's prediction. He left too early. wonder who tampered with the kid's head.....

http://www.scout.com/2/952356.html

britt writes:

FYI Jose Jose released by UCF. Didnt see the story why but maybe we shouldnt be sorry we didnt sign him after all.

CHITOWNVOL writes:

I hate to be a proponent of a multi-QB system, but if the race is tight coming out of the spring, it might be worthwile to give the top 2 a shot and not commit to a definite starter in the fall. I'm not done with Lamaison yet either. No news was definitely not good news last year, but he was VERY new to the program. Projecting that both Simms and Lamaison each have 2 years left. not positive though...

letthebigdoghunt writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thank,s I appreciate the info.GBO

CHITOWNVOL writes:

in response to britt:

FYI Jose Jose released by UCF. Didnt see the story why but maybe we shouldnt be sorry we didnt sign him after all.

nice when that happens to some other team instead of us... any news on who will be snapping? i saw someone post that victor thomas thomas was trying out. shaw, brimfield, pope, anderson, who wants to start on the OL?

appalachianvol writes:

in response to britt:

FYI Jose Jose released by UCF. Didnt see the story why but maybe we shouldnt be sorry we didnt sign him after all.

Here's the link in the local paper in Orlando!

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/spor...

charles57#1378642 writes:

I hope he's a better QB than his brother!

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to appalachianvol:

Here's the link in the local paper in Orlando!

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/spor...

Haha nice, good thing he decided to pass up on that UT offer or it would've been more embarrassment for the university! I like where we're at as far as QB's, can never have too many:) Go Vols!!!

nocleats writes:

Tenn Needs Defensive Tackles!

DarthWilson writes:

in response to CHITOWNVOL:

I hate to be a proponent of a multi-QB system, but if the race is tight coming out of the spring, it might be worthwile to give the top 2 a shot and not commit to a definite starter in the fall. I'm not done with Lamaison yet either. No news was definitely not good news last year, but he was VERY new to the program. Projecting that both Simms and Lamaison each have 2 years left. not positive though...

A 2-QB system always looks good on paper but have seen it work very rarely. Leak/Tebow worked but then that was more of a QB-FB combo. Anyone else know of any that worked?

Ironcity writes:

in response to CHITOWNVOL:

Just read this article on Scout. I agree with the Berry and Williams synopsis. Totally disagree with Rico McCoy's fate. He is draft worthy. Sadly enough, I agree with Rogan's prediction. He left too early. wonder who tampered with the kid's head.....

http://www.scout.com/2/952356.html

I think Rogan left because it was going to be close if he was going to be eligible. If the kid was going to flunk out its better to move on.

peyton4prez writes:

go ahead and pencil stephens as the starter. besides bray, stephens is the only legitament D1 qb we have on the team. obviously bray still has alot of proving to do but he has all the tools. as for simms very rarely do juco transfers pan out in the sec but if stephens gets hurt lets hope that simms is the exception to that.

taylorsvolfan writes:

This is the time when CLK really needs his butt kicked for telling Tajh Boyd to go on. This dude is going to turn out to be something special for Clemson.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to taylorsvolfan:

This is the time when CLK really needs his butt kicked for telling Tajh Boyd to go on. This dude is going to turn out to be something special for Clemson.

Clemson is a place where mediocrity goes and dies

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

Clemson is a place where mediocrity goes and dies

Born in Knoxville and raised as a VOL...attend school at Clemson and am proud to be a Tiger also. With QB Parker playing baseball at Clemson, Boyd should have a good shot at the starting job.

Before you start in on bashing Clemson, maybe you should have thought about the outcome of the last meeting of these 2 teams.

RoadTrip writes:

Boyd is where he needs to be, Bray is where he needs to be and I agree, Nick Stephens will be the man this season. Vol fans may wonder why he didn't play more last season when it is all said and done. Simms is a bridge to Bray if an injury occurs to Stephens or Bray's development slows. The offense is in good hands now that Chaney is in charge.

KptDBVol writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED:

Born in Knoxville and raised as a VOL...attend school at Clemson and am proud to be a Tiger also. With QB Parker playing baseball at Clemson, Boyd should have a good shot at the starting job.

Before you start in on bashing Clemson, maybe you should have thought about the outcome of the last meeting of these 2 teams.

No thought necessary...tough to play when you really dont want to be there. Kinda Like Clemson getting dusted by a much lesser Kentucky team in the Music City Bowl the following year. Clemson is a good program and good team, but has nothing that I am jealous of. I wish Taj well. I'll keep my Vols and not really concerned bout a bad night in Atlanta. I didn't want to be there either.

easleychuck writes:

"Tenn Needs Defensive Tackles!"

Yawn....move alone little trollie, nothing here for you to see.

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to KptDBVol:

No thought necessary...tough to play when you really dont want to be there. Kinda Like Clemson getting dusted by a much lesser Kentucky team in the Music City Bowl the following year. Clemson is a good program and good team, but has nothing that I am jealous of. I wish Taj well. I'll keep my Vols and not really concerned bout a bad night in Atlanta. I didn't want to be there either.

If a team(any team) doesn't want to be in a bowl and put forth a honest effort, then they should stay home. As far as fans, the same goes for them. If you really didn't want to be there, then you should have stayed home.

Clemson is a lot like UT, the fans live and breathe football..they have great facilities and it is also a beautiful campus set in the foothills of the SC mountains. the only major difference is that Clemson plays in the ACC instead of the SEC.

I agree, that you should not be jealous of anything in Clemson, but for the idiotic remark about medicority goint there to die, just shows the lack of knowledge of the person that posted that.

keepitreal4vols writes:

Wow, did Coach Dooley give his blessing for a player to give an interview? Oh wait, spring ball is near so a teaser story to get the fans excited was the motive.
Think we will have 50,000 at Orange White game?

VolinCalif writes:

I know I'm a little late posting, by EST, But just got finished putting the grand-kids to bed. So had the time to get on the net and start reading any news on the Vols. I for one hope we break Bama's record for the Spring game. Show DD that we are real fans and fill the stadium. It would also be a slap at Lan....., oh well I can't say it. Maybe, just Maybe I'll be up to traveling and can bring my 10yr old grandson back for O/W game. If the good lord willing I am sure going to try to make the Or. game. By the way, I saw a preview of the NCAA BK Bkt's and it looked like UT would play out here in San Jose. I sure hope so because if they do my son and grand son and I will be there all decked out in Orange and White. Don't know if I can buy tickets from UT AD or not. Does anyone know about that and when they will go on sale? So if they do play out here in the west and any or you are coming out give me a yell. Not that I can hear a word you say but I can still read a little. Anyway it would be very nice to meet some of you and I think we will get to see two games both wins. The Vols are good enough to go all the way but I sure hope for the final four.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

With our new CDD, everyone now is even. I will put my faith in him and just know that the QB he chooses, will be the best one that he feels will be right for our team. Competition only makes one play harder, so fight for your lives boys! GBO!!!!

DSmith1669 writes:

in response to CHITOWNVOL:

Just read this article on Scout. I agree with the Berry and Williams synopsis. Totally disagree with Rico McCoy's fate. He is draft worthy. Sadly enough, I agree with Rogan's prediction. He left too early. wonder who tampered with the kid's head.....

http://www.scout.com/2/952356.html

The jury is out for me on Rico in the NFL - but I do know he stepped up huge for us last year. As far as Rogan, I really didn't understand why he left (another coaching change?) - I think he won the KY game for us this year with his defensive stop at the end of the game and I know we will miss him big time this year and all for what? Not to get drafted I fear -

PMC2726 writes:

in response to peyton4prez:

go ahead and pencil stephens as the starter. besides bray, stephens is the only legitament D1 qb we have on the team. obviously bray still has alot of proving to do but he has all the tools. as for simms very rarely do juco transfers pan out in the sec but if stephens gets hurt lets hope that simms is the exception to that.

Not sure why everyone assumes Nick will get the nod. As was discussed to no end last year, 2 different staffs picked Crompton over Stephens. Could another year of maturing have helped Nick? Sure. Could his new throwing motion make him a contender? I hope so, b/c it's hard not to like the kid. The problem for Nick is that he's got to learn a 3rd system. I don't care how easy they make it for the QBs this year, it's still going to be a new system to adjust to. I think that's a disadvantage for Nick. If the younger guys can do it just as well (or even almost as well) as Nick, why waste the season on Nick? Gotta look to the future.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Pablopeepants:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Totally agree;with the academic support system we have; no reason for athletes not to pass classes;Totally stupid choice by Rogan..He would have had a huge senior year;now the best he can hope for is to make some teams practice squad..By the way I don't give a s##t about boyd and clemson..Waste of space!!!

Valoisvol writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED:

If a team(any team) doesn't want to be in a bowl and put forth a honest effort, then they should stay home. As far as fans, the same goes for them. If you really didn't want to be there, then you should have stayed home.

Clemson is a lot like UT, the fans live and breathe football..they have great facilities and it is also a beautiful campus set in the foothills of the SC mountains. the only major difference is that Clemson plays in the ACC instead of the SEC.

I agree, that you should not be jealous of anything in Clemson, but for the idiotic remark about medicority goint there to die, just shows the lack of knowledge of the person that posted that.

Give it break buddy

LCfastball writes:

in response to Pablopeepants:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And people climbed my butt for telling the truth about Rogan being Dumb as a box of Rocks......

cloudodust writes:

When t comes to the QB job, it's open but just ajar. They have mentally desiginated a #1 already. Now, that #1 has to prove himself to them. We'll probably come out of spring practice without a solid commitment from CDD on the QB thing...

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Fear the Nickster.

NeylandWest writes:

in response to DarthWilson:

A 2-QB system always looks good on paper but have seen it work very rarely. Leak/Tebow worked but then that was more of a QB-FB combo. Anyone else know of any that worked?

Yes - Peyton Manning/Brandon Stewart. That combo worked great! Stewart sucked it up and Manning re-wrote history ;)

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to Valoisvol:

Give it break buddy

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to tapeworm:

Gotta say, Simms was a washout at Louisville. No reason to think he'll be in the picture at UT. He wasn't happy being a backup at Louisville, so there's no reason to think he'll feel any different at UT.

some good Qbs have come out of Louisville------just cause a kid was a backup there doesnt necessarily doom him as one here------give the kid a chance to compete for the job without prejudging him based on how he stacked up at Louisville

NobodyCares (Inactive) writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Gotta admit, one of the better smackdowns I've seen on here! BOOM!

Ayres_Hall writes:

Why talk about kids on another team? Let it go, girls....

Chris Simms started for Texas for two maybe three years. That means he was a very good college QB. He started in the NFL for at least a year before a critical injury. Brother Matt has the game to play in the SEC. He made a teenager mistake at U of L and was sent packing. He has learned. If he is a carbon copy of Chris then we are in great luck! But really, he has the skills to be our starter this year considering he only has to beat out an often-passed over senior and a freshman.

kyvol98 writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED:

If a team(any team) doesn't want to be in a bowl and put forth a honest effort, then they should stay home. As far as fans, the same goes for them. If you really didn't want to be there, then you should have stayed home.

Clemson is a lot like UT, the fans live and breathe football..they have great facilities and it is also a beautiful campus set in the foothills of the SC mountains. the only major difference is that Clemson plays in the ACC instead of the SEC.

I agree, that you should not be jealous of anything in Clemson, but for the idiotic remark about medicority goint there to die, just shows the lack of knowledge of the person that posted that.

I have spent time in the Clemson / Seneca area and I always said I would move there in a heartbeat. It is a VERY nice area. Your post gained a lot of credibility also with the statement of the "Major Difference". The ACC just doesn't have it in football.

TLepage writes:

in response to PMC2726:

Not sure why everyone assumes Nick will get the nod. As was discussed to no end last year, 2 different staffs picked Crompton over Stephens. Could another year of maturing have helped Nick? Sure. Could his new throwing motion make him a contender? I hope so, b/c it's hard not to like the kid. The problem for Nick is that he's got to learn a 3rd system. I don't care how easy they make it for the QBs this year, it's still going to be a new system to adjust to. I think that's a disadvantage for Nick. If the younger guys can do it just as well (or even almost as well) as Nick, why waste the season on Nick? Gotta look to the future.

I agree.... I think its going to be a wide-open race.... Stephens is the leader by default.... But i wouldn't necessarily count Simms out... He was a parade all-american, granted a lot of that probably has to do with his last name.... But i think we will see a lot of competition this spring and i don't think the starters for any position are set in stone.... Like you said, the past two staffs decided to go with Crompton over Stephens.... That makes me wonder a lot about Stephens.... Time will tell, but i think its going to be a wide-open race and I think any of the three could end up starting... If simms proves he can play at this level, why not start him and redshirt Bray to give him some time to mature physically.... Same thing goes if stephens wins the job... i personally would like to see bray be the starter, if he is ready.... This would be a great way to develope bray and give him experience.... By the time he is a junior he would have two years experience as a starter in the SEC and will be surrounded by playmakers that we have recruited in our past two classes.... Our offense would be very dangerous....

TLepage writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

we did and he screwed us for two years when he decommitted at the last minute.... Supposedly he said UT was too thuged out for him and he claimed that there was a lot of racial tension on our team.... He said the whites and blacks didn't socialize or get along.... i think he is a punk and used that as an excuse to decommitt.... What i think really happened is that Mack Brown promised him the starting job as a freshman before he stepped foot in Austin.... Why else was Major Applewhite (successful Big 12 QB) benched for a frosh from NJ?????

NeylandWest writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you always so easily provoked? Or do you just get mad when people don't agree with you?

TLepage writes:

in response to CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i don't know what i dislike more about Clemson..... The fact they are in the ACC or the fact that their players rub a rock before every home game.... Either way, it must stink to be a clemson fan.... Have you fondled your rock lately???

law_vol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, lets see. Tee Martin won a national championship, and I'd take Casey Clausen's production over Chris Simms any day. I may be mistaken, but didn't Chris constantly battle Major Applewhite for the starting position?

Gumby#1381110 writes:

I look for Simms to be the solid backup to Bray and Nick will be 3rd string. I really don't care though who starts as long as we win, I just don't see that being NS.

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to NeylandWest:

Are you always so easily provoked? Or do you just get mad when people don't agree with you?

Just annoying that when you are trying to have a legitimate discussion that some idiot has to step in and show his ignorance by making remarks that add nothing to the discussion.

If everyone agreed with me, there would be no need for a discussion, so that did not bother me at all, but thanks for asking.

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to TLepage:

i don't know what i dislike more about Clemson..... The fact they are in the ACC or the fact that their players rub a rock before every home game.... Either way, it must stink to be a clemson fan.... Have you fondled your rock lately???

Everyone doesn't like the same school for their own reasons and you are certianly entitled to your opinion. As far as if I have "fondled" my rock lately, no I haven't, but your wife did it for me last night and promised it again for tonight. You have a nice day!

allvolinatlanta writes:

in response to charles57#1378642:

I hope he's a better QB than his brother!

We all should hope he is as good as his brother. I know Tennesse fans are still steamed at him jilting us for Texas. But it is really ridiculous to hold such a grudge.

But for Major Applewhite a very good college quarterback he would have started for 3+ years at Texas. And don't forget he is in the NFL, Major is not!

DaddyVol writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

I know I'm a little late posting, by EST, But just got finished putting the grand-kids to bed. So had the time to get on the net and start reading any news on the Vols. I for one hope we break Bama's record for the Spring game. Show DD that we are real fans and fill the stadium. It would also be a slap at Lan....., oh well I can't say it. Maybe, just Maybe I'll be up to traveling and can bring my 10yr old grandson back for O/W game. If the good lord willing I am sure going to try to make the Or. game. By the way, I saw a preview of the NCAA BK Bkt's and it looked like UT would play out here in San Jose. I sure hope so because if they do my son and grand son and I will be there all decked out in Orange and White. Don't know if I can buy tickets from UT AD or not. Does anyone know about that and when they will go on sale? So if they do play out here in the west and any or you are coming out give me a yell. Not that I can hear a word you say but I can still read a little. Anyway it would be very nice to meet some of you and I think we will get to see two games both wins. The Vols are good enough to go all the way but I sure hope for the final four.

When is the spring game???? Also, when do season ticket applications get mailed out? Thanks in advance!

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