Day off helps Simms recover from multitude of sacks

UT defense plagued by missed tackles

UT offense: Dropped balls, penalties and 3-and-outs

Dooley explains missing man on field

The extra day off came a week later than he wanted.

But Matt Simms certainly wasn’t complaining when it finally arrived Monday.

After another afternoon of punishment and five more sacks on the body of the Tennessee quarterback over the weekend, Simms clearly didn’t mind the day off he and the rest of the Vols got as they try to physically recover before traveling to No. 12 LSU on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 3:30 p.m.). And with the Tigers likely more capable of battering the quarterback than anybody else Simms has faced early in his UT career, the junior might have needed the recovery time more than anybody else.

“I mean, I definitely needed that day off after Florida, to be honest,” Simms said. “So, I’ve got this day off like a week too late.

“I think everyone on our team really needs that extra day of rest. If any team in the country needs an extra day to get healthy, it’s us because of how thin we are. We have a lot of young guys who aren’t really used to putting this much strain on their bodies. They definitely weren’t doing as much work as they are now when they were in high school.”

The same is true for Simms in junior college at this time a year ago, and the shots he’s taking at a higher level with the Vols (2-2, 0-1 SEC) no doubt carry more weight.

The 14 sacks and countless other hits he’s already endured haven’t kept him down for any significant amount of time, and even at the end of a grueling double-overtime win over UAB, Simms was still strong enough to hang in the pocket and deliver a game-winning bullet for a touchdown to Denarius Moore.

Eventually all those trips to the turf figure to take a toll on him though. But a day off from practice and a no-contact jersey during the week can help limit the damage, as does an apparent black-belt in the art of taking a sack.

“Well, they’re bigger at this level, so definitely the hits are a little bit harder,” Simms said. “It’s tough at times, but that’s what comes with playing quarterback. You’ve got to take the hits and actually know how to take a hit properly. I know it sounds weird, but I think I’ve kind of mastered how to take a sack and just protect my body and protect the football, as crazy as that sounds.

“Really, most people would think you kind of tense up or ball up in a muscle, but you just kind of relax and let your body go, to be honest. Don’t try to brace yourself by putting your hand out or bracing the fall. It’s kind of one of those things, you just have to go with it because you know what’s going to happen and you can’t really fight against it.”

A young offensive line is doing all it can to fight back, but through four games the Vols have allowed more sacks than all but three teams in the entire country. UT gave up six of them against a fast, physical Florida team, and it followed that up with five against UAB — and the Tigers appear better suited to bring pressure than either of those teams.

That puts pressure on a unit that again will play three true freshmen at times up front, as well as running backs to pick up blitzes and wide receivers to run proper routes. But even if something goes wrong, UT coach Derek Dooley at least knows by now that he’s got a quarterback who will get back up when he’s knocked around.

“And we don’t hit him in practice, but he has taken a lot of hits,” Dooley said. “I think we’re (close to) leading the country in sacks, and that doesn’t count the ones that he threw away and got shell-shocked on. So we’ve got to do a better job of protecting him, because he won’t make it.

“He’s tough, I’ll give him credit, and not many quarterbacks take a lot of hits and don’t get affected. He hasn’t been.”

© 2010 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Related Stories

Comments » 91

VolInIndy writes:

Ellis got beat uo a lot worse even though he wasn't sacked. Hats off to both for their toughness.

volfaninohio writes:

Hopefully an extra day off will help. The defense has to be tired after over ninety plays this week.

This offense needs to stay on the field and get something done.

GBO

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Looks like KNS and this blog will be gone soon as posters begin to bail.

CoverOrange writes:

Practice short passes underneath the LBs. That is how to beat a Chavis defense on third down.

516milesfromUT writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

Practice short passes underneath the LBs. That is how to beat a Chavis defense on third down.

This must be in the game plan!

BornVolDieVol writes:

There is nothing like throwing the young blood into the lions den to teach them how to fight for their lives... and that is exactly what they did in order to get that win on Sat! It wasn't pretty, but we came up with the WIN even after being outplayed... Our guys were EXHAUSTED when they went into OT and yet they dug deep and gave ALL THEIR MIGHT! I'm proud of them, especially for being such a young and THIN team, and this will only make them stronger! Our guys showed their character and found a way to make it happen and that makes the victory that much sweeter! GBO!!!

mercyseat writes:

wonder why coach Dooley was taking the running backs out after making hot runs? Andrea Ware was commenting on that also during the game. It does make sense to leave them in there if their hot, instead of bringing in another thats cold on the bench. Was he afraid they would get hurt?

GerryOP writes:

If you read the Tweets off to the right on the main page, sounds like this Rucker dude guy is ready to bury Dooley and the Vols. Are there any categories where our Vols are not in the bottom 10% of the NCAA? C'mon Ruck, be fair. Why all of the negativity?

nocleats writes:

off subject, but where is the outrage?
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/st...

GerryOP writes:

in response to nocleats:

off subject, but where is the outrage?
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/st...

OT, but whatever!

BWaaaHaaaaHaaa! The Dawgs are scared and are running from the Ducks!

bigorange_inbham writes:

I mean when you put it in perspective we have 1 starter on offense from last year. So to sit 2-2 and only losing to top 10 teams is not bad. Sat. did scare since I do live in Birmingham and never would have lived down a loss to UAB even though they should have won the game with 5 missed FG. Somebody needs to buy that kicker a beer though!

GerryOP writes:

in response to bigorange_inbham:

I mean when you put it in perspective we have 1 starter on offense from last year. So to sit 2-2 and only losing to top 10 teams is not bad. Sat. did scare since I do live in Birmingham and never would have lived down a loss to UAB even though they should have won the game with 5 missed FG. Somebody needs to buy that kicker a beer though!

How 'bout this perspective bhamVol? We beat UAB and now we need to beat LSU in order to have any chance of ending the season 10-2. It's possible...

nicknack1 writes:

John Chavis- " Alright, it's 3rd and 15 boys. We're gonna let them get those 14 yards, but by George, we're gonna make them earn that one last yard. We're gonna be in the Pony Package again so let's him where it hurts...deep in the backfield and leave the middle wide open! Go get em boys!"

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to BornVolDieVol:

There is nothing like throwing the young blood into the lions den to teach them how to fight for their lives... and that is exactly what they did in order to get that win on Sat! It wasn't pretty, but we came up with the WIN even after being outplayed... Our guys were EXHAUSTED when they went into OT and yet they dug deep and gave ALL THEIR MIGHT! I'm proud of them, especially for being such a young and THIN team, and this will only make them stronger! Our guys showed their character and found a way to make it happen and that makes the victory that much sweeter! GBO!!!

Very Well Said!!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to GerryOP:

If you read the Tweets off to the right on the main page, sounds like this Rucker dude guy is ready to bury Dooley and the Vols. Are there any categories where our Vols are not in the bottom 10% of the NCAA? C'mon Ruck, be fair. Why all of the negativity?

I did read those, Gerry, and I do agree with your assessment.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

Looks like KNS and this blog will be gone soon as posters begin to bail.

You need to lead the pack .

Highlands_Whisky writes:

I have gotten on Simms as well, but this kid is giving his all for Tennessee. He seems to hold the ball too long, until you watch the receivers and see their inability to separate from defenders.

This season, I'll keep my mouth shut and save my vitriol for more deserving targets, like LSU fans and the mephitic scent of corn dog they emanate.

RockyMountainVOLnationdom writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LSU looks very beatable right now, they have to be one of the most underachieving teams in the country, with their talent they should be killing people, i like UT's chances.

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DuBose-Franchione-Shula-Price, said hello, they want their coaching careers back.

volsreign writes:

Here's how to beat Chief: Take a knee on the first 2 downs which gives you 3rd and 15. We'll convert every time.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Hopefully no one bashes Matt too much here. Yes, I'd like to have seen Bray some in the 2nd half. No, I didn't expect to do so.

Matt Simms is working hard and playing his rear off. No way will I slam the kid, he's what we have. He really came very close to having a great day against UAB.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Hey, a question:
did anyone got to espn3 and review the game?? looked to me like D. Moore got interfered with very badly on a deep ball in the 2nd half. Andre Ware skipped over the play, but sure seemed like the UAB d-back got there about a split-second early.

OrangePsyched writes:

Woulda,coulda,shoulda,but Simms was a couple dropped passes from having a really good game. 3 TD's and no INT's ain't bad. Our defense in the 2nd halves are what scare me. We gave up 0 in first half against UTM, 13 against UO, 7 against UF, and 3 against UAB. The second half with our 3 and outs are killing the defense. Our offense has to find a way to kill some clock.

stompintheswamp2 writes:

in response to volsreign:

Here's how to beat Chief: Take a knee on the first 2 downs which gives you 3rd and 15. We'll convert every time.

This kind of stuff is not funny. Our defense under the chief was the reason for our success for many years. Defense won a ton of games during his career here. We should all appreciate what he did for the vols. I wish him the best of luck every game that they do not play the vols. By the way, he didn't leave UT because he wanted to.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

thanks, that is exactly how I saw it too.

BrassMonkey writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Or, if you pay Cutcliff as much as you paid Monte two years later then he stays at the O coordinator and we have T. Pryor as QB. It has been so long since we had top notch QB. Since Cutcliff left to Ole Miss the first time to be exact.

iowavol writes:

in response to tweetdriver63#346474:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I was at the game and the replay on the Jumbotron was hard to see the interference. But the replay shows the obvious and I was surprised as well at how Ware went on about the good play and he even said the defender knocked the ball away at the last second. I also noticed Ware going off on Simms several times that I just didn't see the same thing. He even said the throw Stocker dropped in the end zone should have been intercepted. The pass was perfect. Simms was a lot better on replay than he was live. Given the punishment and being a little late in his decision making, the kid is doing a good job.

orangecountyvols writes:

You know Vol fans ( not trolls ),

Sometimes you wonder if it's not possible to utilize some of the same stuff other teams use successfully against us. In other words, that hurry up offense that Oregon used to keep us off balance and wearing us down. We know pressure is going to come from LSU so in a perfect world so to speak, it would be great if we too could spread the field and hit something quick against that pressure. Of course, you have to have the talent, depth, and experience to do that so that's another issue.

Anyway, one more comment about the negativity here.
We have trolls who just don't like a person or a coach. On the Sports Animal, there used to be a clown who daily would call in to ask that Fulmer be fired. There are clowns here who just don't like Simms. They think Bray can step in and work miracles against this schedule. Truth is, the word was to be patient and not expect 1998 results. People are just very naive by thinking we can get through all this with the little depth and talent we currently have.

However, many people are showing their ignorance to to be daily saying the same things that have 0 substance. As I have said before, when you identify a troll's name such as Naffy, Vandygrad,Not-a-vol Hamilton, and others...........you know what message you going to get. If you enjoy reading their garbage, you are free to do so. I am wagering many are now ignoring them. Sooner or later, KNS will ban some of them.........hopefully.

Back on topic, yes, Simms has taken a beating and one of these games he'll get better protection and the backs might just have some running room. It would be nice to finally hit some third and longs against 3rd and long Chavis !

8ball writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Great post so your going to stay off our site till oct. great..

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Be fair...UAB is ranked 108 out of 120 and the VOLS are in at 71. Poor VANDY is 85th. I say things are bad and it it's time to play the bench including the QBs'. I get the feeling some think we should be winning when we are trying to build a very young team with coaches new to the SEC. Terrible combination.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to 8ball:

Great post so your going to stay off our site till oct. great..

I doubt 5 people would be on this site it they were all optimist about their team.

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agree on his toughness and that he can't continue taking that sort of contact. We might be seeing a lot of screens, draws, roll outs and keeping the routes to the wide outs short to try and get the passes off early. Unfortunately, sounds a bit like going to a gun fight with a knive.

Whoa, subtract that gun and fight reference.......

gnm53108 writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hear ya kcs.

The future looks bright on the offensive side of the ball and special teams.There's a foundation being laid there where optimism is justified.

The defense...I just dont know.Are our players just not understanding coach Wilcox's schemes?..Do we not have the right kind of players to play this kind of defense?

Colliervol writes:

in response to GerryOP:

If you read the Tweets off to the right on the main page, sounds like this Rucker dude guy is ready to bury Dooley and the Vols. Are there any categories where our Vols are not in the bottom 10% of the NCAA? C'mon Ruck, be fair. Why all of the negativity?

I think tweeting was invented for people that can't concentrate long enough to read or construct a coherent thought. Most people lose concentration after 4 or 5 words so I guess that's why it has become so popular. Personally I am amazed at the phenomenon.

SmokeytheVol writes:

KNS made it seem like our OL is at the center of this issue but through 4 games i continue to see a lack of an internal clock in Simms' head and poor decision-making. Ainge is a prime example. Wasn't a great QB but only took 3 or 4 sacks his entire senior year and through 4 games this guy has 14?! The coaches have GOT to teach this kid to get rid of the ball. He constantly tucks the ball way before he needs to and begins to go into his "sack mode" he described above. This guy plays QB; you dont learn how to take sacks, you learn how to read defenses and deliver the ball to receivers.

Colliervol writes:

in response to stompintheswamp2:

This kind of stuff is not funny. Our defense under the chief was the reason for our success for many years. Defense won a ton of games during his career here. We should all appreciate what he did for the vols. I wish him the best of luck every game that they do not play the vols. By the way, he didn't leave UT because he wanted to.

The truth hurts. Chavis' defenses gave up 3rd and long so many times that I didn't bother watching anytime a team was sitting at longer than 3rd and 10. You knew they were going to convert so it was always a good time to go get a cold one.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to kcsbigorng:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Someone isn't understanding something.Our lb's cant cover wr's...and our de's cant cover rb's on out routes.

Is there some confusion or are we gonna have to wait till we recruit smaller and ALOT faster players?

Neyland writes:

in response to Highlands_Whisky:

I have gotten on Simms as well, but this kid is giving his all for Tennessee. He seems to hold the ball too long, until you watch the receivers and see their inability to separate from defenders.

This season, I'll keep my mouth shut and save my vitriol for more deserving targets, like LSU fans and the mephitic scent of corn dog they emanate.

Highlands i was born and raised in Tennessee and am a die hard UT fan. With that said all of my mothers family is from Louisianna, you dont smell corndog, its actually crawfish and gaotortail. LOL. GO VOLS!!!!!

volfaninohio writes:

in response to ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog:

Very Well Said!!

Nice post

RDW writes:

in response to Colliervol:

I think tweeting was invented for people that can't concentrate long enough to read or construct a coherent thought. Most people lose concentration after 4 or 5 words so I guess that's why it has become so popular. Personally I am amazed at the phenomenon.

Your comment is GREAT!!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to volman2010:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree volman2010, Simms is OK and can manage the offense as a good QB. Simms will never be a Great QB but he is what we need right now with OUR VOLS being so many players down and a freshmen O Line.

I was calling for Tyler Bray earlier but was wrong. Simms is 22 years old, mature, good football brain and has thrown some great TDs. Our young WRs and LUKE needs to start catching passes, period!

Tyler will be a Great QB next year or his junior year. Right now he just turned 18 and needs to learn the speed of the college game. CDD doesn't need to tant or have Tyler get hurt this year.

SUPPORT SIMMS and LETS START CATCHING PASSES!

GO VOLS, WEV ARE UT!

GerryOP writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Woof, woof ... or maybe better ... yap, yap!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to Dead_Head_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Glad to see someone is a realist. UAB is ranked 108th. How can anyone say it's a benchmark game. LSU will be a true test to see if anything has changed. Regardless I'll be for them. I have my hero's on the team. I expect 2-6 by the end of October and 6-6 by seasons end. Anything less and the head hunt begins.

GerryOP writes:

in response to BolivarBob:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe. It's just that Rucker seems to get great joy out of accentuating the negative and eliminating the positive.

GerryOP writes:

in response to DC_BackByPopularDemand:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Where is Phil Fulmer? He's biding his time waiting for an opening in G'ville or T'loosa... whichever comes first. He wants to prove that he is capable of running any program into the dirt ... no matter how great it is.

mlynn1 writes:

in response to DC_BackByPopularDemand:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yea DC, just like 2005 when Fulmer blew them out 17-10

IBleedOrange71 writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

C'mon man....your facts are not in order here! I'm not a fan of Mr. Hamilton, but at least be honest when stating information.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to DC_BackByPopularDemand:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

c'mon, dc, you are classier than this. cut the cr@p.

TommyJack writes:

in response to mlynn1:

Yea DC, just like 2005 when Fulmer blew them out 17-10

DC is a KNS stooge. Plain and simple.

orangevolman writes:

Every time I read a comment suggesting switching QB’s, I am reminded of when Peyton was a freshman and fans were screaming to bench Peyton and play…. Now what was his name? You get my point. The coaches know best. If Bray is more capable and ready to play, the coaches would be playing him. I put more onus on the senior WR’s and TE.

Simms is playing behind a very inexperienced OL. And he’s playing like a Timex. I do wish he’d roll out more often. He seems to get his shoulders squared quickly enough when he moves out of the box.

Go VOLS!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features