For Matt Simms, 'it's just survival'

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Matt Simms just wanted an opportunity to keep playing football.

So, when he picked up the phone and the New York Jets offered him a tryout, he jumped at the chance. Then, he had to explain it to all of his cringing buddies.

"My good friend growing up who I played high school football with was a die-hard Giants fan and he was very upset for a moment," the youngest son of former Giants star quarterback Phil Simms said with a smile. "I told him to look past that and now he finally supports me."

After stints playing quarterback at Louisville, El Camino College and finally the University of Tennessee, Simms was at Jets rookie minicamp last weekend unsure what the next stop in his football journey will be.

At least he has an idea for the summer after the Jets signed Simms as an undrafted free agent.

"Obviously, I'm just super excited to be here and it being a hometown team, especially, makes it that much more special," said Simms, from nearby Franklin Lakes, N.J. "It's a little strange for a lot of my friends since it is the Jets, but I told them that it doesn't matter."

While they kept a relatively low profile during the first two days of rookie camp, it was hard to miss Simms. From the blond hair to the zip on his passes, he resembles his father as well as his older brother Chris, a former NFL quarterback now coaching with the New England Patriots.

"The thing that you're impressed with immediately is how he can throw the football," Jets coach Rex Ryan said Saturday. "I mean, he definitely has a great arm. He can really spin it. ... Obviously, he's got the pedigree."

Simms went to Louisville on a scholarship and saw limited action as a freshman, appearing in just two games. He left the Cardinals after one season and headed to El Camino in Southern California, where he led the team to a league title and threw for 2,204 yards and 17 touchdowns.

His next stop was UT, where he started eight games as a junior but just two as a senior.

"This game, in general, is going to take you for a loop every now and then," Simms said. "You're going to go through a lot of different things and it's going to be hard to adjust to different scenarios. I am fortunate that I did have my brother and my father. They have tremendous knowledge of the game and they're a great support system. Their help has really guided me through this process, even though it has been difficult at times."

He worked out for the Giants before the draft and threw to Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, but didn't think he'd get an opportunity with the team his father helped win a Super Bowl. So, Simms went undrafted and then unsigned, receiving a chance to try out for the Jets with no guarantees.

His chances of catching on with the Jets are slim, considering they've already got Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy on the roster, and they signed former Tulsa star G.J. Kinne as an undrafted free agent. That doesn't faze Simms.

"It's just survival, and see what happens," he said. "I just want to keep playing the game I've been playing since I was a kid, and wherever that is, I would love to do it."

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Comments » 23

PUL4VOLS writes:

Matt best to you as you get a shot. With the way McElroy made his statements las year, there may be a spot for you. Give it your best big guy.

ReVolver writes:

Awesome opportunity...good luck!!!

mattnchatt writes:

Keep livin the dream!

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say best wishes and hope you make the cut! VFL
Bones never lie.
*Witch Doctor say if somehow you dont, and accidentally drop a dumbbell on Tebow or spill Icy Hot on his underwear...Witch Doctor say that about get you somewhere between Neyland and Dickey...aim high!! hehe

tovolny writes:

Good luck to you again, Matt. I admire your toughness and determination. Just keep throwing mud on the wall, part of it will stick.

vols2#227315 writes:

should not have every put on a UT uniform or every been on campus. Cost UT to many games.

SouthALVol writes:

in response to vols2#227315:

should not have every put on a UT uniform or every been on campus. Cost UT to many games.

Give me a freakin' break. For which major college football team did you play the most important position? What a maroon!

born2ride writes:

Arena League

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say best wishes and hope you make the cut! VFL
Bones never lie.
*Witch Doctor say if somehow you dont, and accidentally drop a dumbbell on Tebow or spill Icy Hot on his underwear...Witch Doctor say that about get you somewhere between Neyland and Dickey...aim high!! hehe

HA!!! Hilarious!!!

On a serious note, I felt Simms should've started once Bray went down. Dooley put the kid through the gauntlet in 2010: Oregon, Florida, UGA, Bama, and he almost led us to a big win on the road at LSU if not for Chuck Smith. He got hammered time and time again, but he kept getting back up. I also feel Dooley threw him under the bus this year after the LSU game. The kid has heart and wheels, and I wish Dooley and Chaney would've given him a chance against some of the weaker competition from this year.

Anyway, I think Simms has said he'd like to be a coach. Good luck to him.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Matt can sure throw a tight spiral... when he gets around to making up his mind to throw it.

All Matt needed was to lose his fear of throwing it. Of making mistakes. He has the tools and understands the game.

SummittsCourt writes:

Best of luck and I hope he gets on a team if not the Jets.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to BACK_TO_TROLL_KNS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

relax, give being a jerk a break.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to BACK_TO_TROLL_KNS:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, here you are again, litttle girl.

cltvol writes:

in response to Huttdawg100:

HA!!! Hilarious!!!

On a serious note, I felt Simms should've started once Bray went down. Dooley put the kid through the gauntlet in 2010: Oregon, Florida, UGA, Bama, and he almost led us to a big win on the road at LSU if not for Chuck Smith. He got hammered time and time again, but he kept getting back up. I also feel Dooley threw him under the bus this year after the LSU game. The kid has heart and wheels, and I wish Dooley and Chaney would've given him a chance against some of the weaker competition from this year.

Anyway, I think Simms has said he'd like to be a coach. Good luck to him.

concur with that,,he is tuff,,bray would have been broken apart frosh year against those teams

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say lets not forget Pat Ryan who did NOTHING at Tennessee to go on the the NFL and do NOTHING for 12 years except make great money and then get a great gig talking about it???? lol.
Witch Doctor say that rare so think about the Icy Hot thing..hehe
Bones never lie.

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say lets not forget Pat Ryan who did NOTHING at Tennessee to go on the the NFL and do NOTHING for 12 years except make great money and then get a great gig talking about it???? lol.
Witch Doctor say that rare so think about the Icy Hot thing..hehe
Bones never lie.

A list that requires publishing in an attempt to acquire perspective amongst an internet forum reflecting usually the worst, but sometimes the best, in VOL fans:
1. WD posts (assumed by WBGs after transgression) from 2008-2011
2. Attending 3 games in 1998 – Gators in Neyland, Arkansas in Neyland, and Fiesta Bowl
3. Watching Peyton beat the Tide 4 times
4. Watching Peyton lose to the Gators 4 times
5. In Neyland witnessing Pat Dye look at Bo quit and go to the sidelines
6. Being in Legion Field and seeing Peyton to Joey Kent go 89 yds. on the 1st offensive play
7. In Neyland when North Texas State won
8. Many, many other plays and games that provided unimaginable exultations and despair
This matters for what? Nada. What matters is we have a head coach that will lead our team through the “T” onto the field. Until he is no longer the Coach, supporting his efforts to achieve a win for our VOLS is paramount. I don’t recommend the Koolaid (unless provided by Ken K.) but comments providing no viable constructive and or actionable postings reveal a troll under a bridge

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Vols4Ever:

A list that requires publishing in an attempt to acquire perspective amongst an internet forum reflecting usually the worst, but sometimes the best, in VOL fans:
1. WD posts (assumed by WBGs after transgression) from 2008-2011
2. Attending 3 games in 1998 – Gators in Neyland, Arkansas in Neyland, and Fiesta Bowl
3. Watching Peyton beat the Tide 4 times
4. Watching Peyton lose to the Gators 4 times
5. In Neyland witnessing Pat Dye look at Bo quit and go to the sidelines
6. Being in Legion Field and seeing Peyton to Joey Kent go 89 yds. on the 1st offensive play
7. In Neyland when North Texas State won
8. Many, many other plays and games that provided unimaginable exultations and despair
This matters for what? Nada. What matters is we have a head coach that will lead our team through the “T” onto the field. Until he is no longer the Coach, supporting his efforts to achieve a win for our VOLS is paramount. I don’t recommend the Koolaid (unless provided by Ken K.) but comments providing no viable constructive and or actionable postings reveal a troll under a bridge

Witch Doctor say might as well drink and pass the koolaid around as some argue like some kinda coaching change is gonna happen before the season even starts((?)) Witch Doctor said it many times if the AD isnt gonna step up (if Dooley has a losing or below 7-8 win season( keep him rather than run out and pretend "destination-job" and not loot is gonna bring a big coach in...some argue like Fulmer would come back..no he wont pretty sure.. but its the internet and everyone have an opinion. lol
Bones never lie.

Witch_Doctors writes:

*Ps if we aint fishing with 5 million a year..then we only get another hopefully "up and comer". Want a Saban? pay Saban money..Want another Dooley((IF)) he fails, go act like everyone wants to be here and only pay 2 mill a year. Witch Doctor keeps it real.
BNL

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

*Ps if we aint fishing with 5 million a year..then we only get another hopefully "up and comer". Want a Saban? pay Saban money..Want another Dooley((IF)) he fails, go act like everyone wants to be here and only pay 2 mill a year. Witch Doctor keeps it real.
BNL

Rumor has that a guy named Petrino and one that had a vest are now cheap.
I’ve watched the Tide ebb and roll and now is their high time. Satan has dominance but he will find the NCAA can’t dismiss the claims by the ‘Dawgs (8 of his recruits from there), the ‘Cajuns and the Village on the Plains that his boosters perhaps are again providing supplemental benefits. I love the SEC West.
All speculation. What provides enjoyment is children happy, winning SEC games on autumn Saturdays, and those offering comments providing wit to the witless.

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

Best of luck Matt.

There's NOTHING better than being a Tennessee fan even during the worst of times.

All programs have ups and downs and we are headed back up again but it's a long climb back up to the top so be patient and watch the continued progress as we move back towards a top 10 team every year again.

VFL...GBO!!!

oldster writes:

The pros like his arm. "He can really spin it." Dooley said that he could not throw well enough. Humm? Could it be that Dooley is a better judge of arm strength than the pros who have been doing it much longer than Dooley?

BigOrangeSlim writes:

in response to oldster:

The pros like his arm. "He can really spin it." Dooley said that he could not throw well enough. Humm? Could it be that Dooley is a better judge of arm strength than the pros who have been doing it much longer than Dooley?

No goofball its that sometimes you go with who has the hot hand and sometimes chemistry is for the less expirenced to blend together better than the best player!

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

wish him the best but if past experence means anything he wont be worth a chit...just like he wasnt at UT or asnywhere elese he played.Although he does make a great clipboard holder

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