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bucs1

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: June 29, 2007, 10:25:53 PM

From TampaBay.com: http://blogs.tampabay.com/bucs/2007/06/simms-second-gu.html



Simms second guessing?

Twice in less than one year, quarterback Chris Simms made a contract decision that may come back to haunt him.

In the spring of 2006, he chose not to sign a fairly lucrative contract offer from Tampa Bay (believed to be in the $10-million range) in favor of signing a one-year deal as a restricted free agent, the idea being that a solid season as the starter would allow him to cash in after 2006. Well, we all know what followed: a season-ending injury that involved the removal of his spleen.

Later, in December, Simms decides to re-up with the Bucs for two more years, the idea then being that he could regain the starting job and re-establish himself. Since then, the Bucs landed Jeff Garcia and all indications (including those from head coach Jon Gruden) are that Garcia will start in 2007. It hasn't helped that Simms is struggling mightily with his throwing form after recovering from that invasive surgery.

So, here -- again -- is Simms, searching himself after a pivotal decision. He said he didn't regret the one he made last spring. But he did express a hint of doubt in an interview with the Times' Rick Stroud on Thursday. Asked whether he would have come back to Tampa Bay knowing what he knows now, Simms said the following:

"I don't know. I would've definitely re-evaluated the situation. That's an honest answer."

That's something we've always appreciated about Simms: his honesty. When I approached him last year after learning through sources he had passed up that multi-year deal then gotten hurt, he didn't try to squirrel his way out of it. He was honest and said he'd do it again given the choice. Gotta respect him for that.

Now, here's where you come in: how do you feel about all this? Did Simms make a mistake by re-signing with the Bucs? Will he ever be the answer at quarterback here in Tampa Bay? He's the kind of guy everyone wants to root for, but unfortunately, that doesn't guarantee him a spot in the lineup.


More from TampaBay.com: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/06/29/Bucs/Had_Simms_known___who.shtml

Had Simms known, who knows?

Asked if he would've signed a two-year, $5-million extension with the Bucs last December had he known all that would transpire during this turbulent offseason, Simms says he would have re-evaluated the situation.


Chris Simms throws a pass during the second day of mini camp drills earlier this month in Tampa.

CRYSTAL RIVER - For more than three hours Thursday, Chris Simms was the Bucs' No. 1 quarterback again.

He had just led about a dozen kids from the Children's Home on an interactive tour of Kings Bay, swimming with manatees and free-diving the deep pools of Three Sisters Spring.

Whenever a snorkel was fumbled to the sandy bottom, Simms recovered it. If someone needed encouragement, he offered it. The large creatures are protected here, but it's also a place where Simms could seek refuge.

He stood on the shore with his wetsuit unzipped to his waist, revealing the 9-inch scar from surgery to remove his spleen last September. It's the only visible sign of why Simms' career in Tampa Bay might be endangered.

But there are other reasons. Simms is asked if he would've signed a two-year, $5-million extension with the Bucs last December had he known all that would transpire during this turbulent offseason?

"I don't know. I would've definitely re-evaluated the situation, " Simms said. ""That's an honest answer."

Instead, Simms is regaining the throwing mechanics he lost after developing some "bad habits" while unconsciously trying to protect his abdomen. And the 26-year-old lefty has an uphill battle to reclaim his job from 37-year-old Eagles free agent Jeff Garcia, who has been declared the leader in the clubhouse by coach Jon Gruden.

"But the bottom line is when it came time to re-sign and do that, (Garcia) wasn't here and I know I've loved it here up to this point and just can't see being anywhere else, " Simms said. "That's the whole reason my wife and I decided we wanted to stay here."

On sun splashed afternoons like Thursday, when Simms is the one stalking enormous mammals, it's easy to see why he stuck around.

Entering his fifth pro season, Simms still is popular in the Bucs locker room and in the community. His Wild Adventures initiative, which he started last year, combines his love of children, nature and animals.

Normally, the excursions include trips to the Lowry Park Zoo or Big Cat Rescue. But swimming with manatees? "It's unlike anything we've done so far, " Simms said. "That was cool that the kids could get out there, get into the water and get that close to a manatee."

Simms' guide on Thursday was Captain Traci Wood of Native Vacations, a former Michigan resident who vacationed in Crystal River in 1999. "I swam with a manatee and it was like a life-altering experience for me, " Wood said. She returned a few months later, got her captain's license and has been conducting manatee dives ever since.

The headwaters of Crystal River, fed by fresh water springs that produce 600 million gallons daily, are warmed to 72 degrees year round, attracting manatees who can't survive for long periods in water temperatures below 68 degrees.

In fact, Citrus County waters are the only place where hands-on interaction with the endangered manatees is permitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"Hey, I work with some pretty large mammals, " Simms said. "These may be smarter. But I shouldn't say that or I'll get in trouble with my offensive linemen."

Simms admits he never saw the trouble with losing his passing stroke coming.

"When you're just out there throwing by yourself, it's a little easier than when you've got live action and real routes being run and everything like that, " Simms said. "It's not something I saw happening, as far as the mechanical thing. But it's not something I'm really worried about, either. ...

"I was trying to guard my torso, so I was throwing all with my arm and just short-arming it. I put myself in a bad position to throw the football."

Worse yet, Simms may enter training camp behind Garcia, Bruce Gradkowski and perhaps Luke McCown, at least based on reduced reps in the offseason.

"It's tough. Of course I want to be out there and taking all the reps, " he said. "That's part of being an athlete and being a competitor. But the time will come. I know when July comes, nobody is going to be begging for more reps."

Simms smiled. He glanced at the boat that was shoving off for lunch at a nearby restaurant. A manatee surfaced nearby.

For the moment, neither seemed endangered.

"Oh, I see myself battling for No. 1, " Simms said. ""Without a doubt. No doubt."


More on Chris Simms' Wild Adventures program's trip to Crystal River from Buccaneers.com: http://www.buccaneers.com/news/newsdetail.aspx?newsid=5847

Wild Encounter

Chris Simms and his friends found the perfect way to cap off their Wild Adventures, thanks to Native Vacations in Crystal River and the wonderfully gentle animal known as the manatee


Searching for manatees in the Crystal River waters brought Chris Simms and his friends closer together

Jun 29, 2007 -

The black-clad figures slid noiselessly out of the stream running from Three Sisters Springs into an incon**CENSORED**uous bend of the Crystal River. There was a handful of kayakers and boaters in the area, but little that disturbed the peacefulness of the morning here in Citrus County, Florida. Nearby boaters trailed their toes in the water, watching a cormorant sun his wings.

The tranquility of the moment, however, was short-lived.

See, here's the thing: Underneath the wetsuits and behind the snorkels of those swimmers spilling out of the springs were your average, ordinary teenagers. And, as we all know, teenagers are rarely quiet for long. Soon enough their faces came out of the water, they clambered onto the waiting pontoon boots and the chatter began, most of it directed at the smiling blonde man in the extra-tall wetsuit.

This was the third leg of the Chris Simms’ Wild Adventures program, and the man at the center of attention was, of course, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms. The other swimmers were guests of his from The Children’s Home in Tampa, an organization that has grown close to his heart during his four-plus years in Florida.

“These are some of our less fortunate children in Florida, and they’ve become friends of mine,” said Simms. “This is just a very good group of kids. I kind of found a liking towards them during my rookie year, when we visited to carve pumpkins. I’ve had a great time with them. They seem so pure at heart, and I wanted to continue to do things with them.”

After getting close to an impressive collection of felines at Big Cat Rescue and learning about a broad array of wildlife at the Lowry Park Zoo – both in Tampa – the Wild Adventures crew took the next step on Thursday and sought a more direct animal encounter. The inspired choice was Crystal River and its opportunity to swim with Florida manatees, in this case specifically through a tour provided by the knowledgeable and charitable folks at Native Vacations.

After starting Wild Adventures with the two local trips, Simms found an ambitious way to cap the second year of a program that combines two groups for which he has a special fondness, kids and animals. After the 90-minute trip up to Citrus County, but before the tour actually got underway, Simms said his intention was to get the boys and girls from The Children’s Home “out of their normal, every-day routine,” to spark their interest and get them talking about new experiences.

Judging from the excited chatter on the boats after the swim up to the Three Sisters Springs, that mission was accomplished. And the trip to the springs was merely an interlude between two stops that were more specific to the day's purpose – actual, in-water encounters with the gentle giants that call these waterways home.

During winter months, the Three Sisters Spring mouth is a good spot for manatee encounters, as they seek the more constant water temperatures of the area, especially in the morning. In fact, this part of Crystal River as well as King’s Bay, where the tour began, is teeming with hundreds of manatees during the colder months, when the gulf drops below the 68-degree threshold that they can tolerate. In the warmer months, the manatees scatter to their hearts' desires, sometimes leaving only a few dozen in the tour’s region. Still, they were there in the water on Wednesday, and the Native Vacations tour guides found them.

In fact, the tour was only a few minutes old when the three boats anchored in King’s Bay in order to let Simms and the kids get in the water. Though they were instructed by video as to how to spot the manatees, the visitors from Tampa still needed some help finding the scattered marine mammals. When they did, the water was shallow and clear enough to allow a very personal encounter.

Later, after the side trip to the springs, the group spotted another manatee in a deeper body of water and anchored for a second lengthy encounter. This docile creature was slowly going about getting a meal from the bottom of the river, coming up between bites to get a breath. It seemed to pop up in a slightly new spot each time, leading to some rather abrupt and happy meetings. Simms never managed to get close enough to touch one of the manatees, but several of the kids did, leading to endless bragging according to the quarterback.

“This was a true wild encounter, which is definitely a very rare occurrence,” said Simms. “It was a great time just getting out here and being able to play around, have fun in the water, but at the same time get close to a real manatee and get to touch it.”

The Florida manatees are very social creatures, and though many of them have scars and other injuries from boat mishaps, they are friendly with humans. They even enjoy being petted and scratched, and will sometimes roll over to get their bellies rubbed. Many of the manatees in the Crystal River area weigh in the neighborhood of 1,200 pounds; the one Simms’ group encountered in the deep water was probably 800-900 pounds.

Despite the manatees' well-deserved reputation for gentleness, the Wild Adventures kids were of a mixed mind when it came to the prospect of an encounter. A few were a bit timid to get into the water at first, though most warmed to the idea a few hours into the trip. One of the girls on the trip, Michelle, summed up her pre-tour knowledge of manatees thusly: “I know that I’m scared of them, and they’re big.”

Most of the kids were eager and unafraid right from the beginning, however. Angelique, for instance, insisted she would approach the manatees because, well, “I haven’t felt one before.”

One of the younger and smaller boys (most of the children on the trip cannot be identified for security reasons) was particularly ambitious, the first to try out his snorkel gear, the first to enter the water at King’s Bay and the first to swim off towards the springs. He was the lucky tourist near which the manatee in deeper water surfaced close enough to touch.

Simms had paddled a few feet off before that final encounter, but he was thrilled to see his young friend experience a once-in-a-lifetime meeting. In fact, the Buccaneer quarterback was smiling most of the day, watching the Wild Adventures kids enjoy an outing quite unlike most of their days.

“Hopefully they learn a thing or two while they’re out here and experience something new,” said Simms. “More than anything, we just had fun today. It was a good day of just being in the water and having fun.

The 2007 Wild Adventures program wrapped up with Thursday’s trip to Crystal River. Next year's series could go anywhere wild animals are involved, though Simms had a feeling he might be back in touch with the manatees next year.

"It was a great year for the Wild Adventures, it really was," said Simms. "We had some…well, Wild Adventures. It’s always a great experience for me; hopefully it is for the kids, too. We’ve had great fun the last two years and hopefully we can continue doing this."

keeponbucn

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#1 : June 29, 2007, 10:38:32 PM

If he displayed anything that showed he progressed in those first few games before getting injured it would be completely different. He had to expect, even before the signing of Garcia that the Bucs would attempt to upgrade the position.

MarleyMon81

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#2 : June 29, 2007, 10:59:11 PM

Even before the spleen injury last year he was playing very poorly.  Heck his best game of the year was probably vs. Carolina where he got hurt.  I know it must suck in Chris' mind as he is a competitior, but what was he expecting after his and the entire offense's performance last year, status quo.  It would not suprise me in the least if Chris is traded before the season starts.  I would hate to lose him, but from all reports Garcia has come in and just fit like a glove in this offense where Simms is still a fish out of water in an offense he's been in going into the 5th year. 

I'm sorry he feels that way, but most would say we saw this one coming, particularly with Garcia being a FA.  IMO, I do not think the Bucs QB in 3 to 4 years is currently on this roster, but Garcia will more than bridge the gap until then.


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#3 : June 29, 2007, 11:21:35 PM

I didn't read those long stories but, I'm kinda second guessing the drafting of Simms to. I hope he feels better.

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#4 : June 29, 2007, 11:31:04 PM

I don't know how signing with the Bucs can come back to haunt Simms right now. If he were a FA, based on the way he's thrown this off season, he'd still be a FA.

Happy and Peppy and Bursting with love.

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#5 : June 29, 2007, 11:38:00 PM

I just can't escape the sports flip floppers!



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#6 : June 29, 2007, 11:41:30 PM

Longest Post I have seen in a LONG time!
Will they ever find a helmet that fits Chris Simms head!
He is lucky to be on a roster in the NFL, period.  Those three games last year reminded me of a spoof reel made of the first season Bucs!

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#7 : June 30, 2007, 10:54:17 AM

Sad and Sorry

I like Chris Simms, but it’s impossible to say at this point how his future will pan out with the Bucs or elsewhere. Luck has not been kind to him…passing on a $10 million contract only to have his dream of free agency millions crushed along with his spleen…and then signing an extension only to find out later that the Bucs had signed/traded for Garcia and Plummer to compete with him. Of course, since the Bucs miserable QB play had been the talk of the town throughout the entire 2006 season, it may have been a little naïve of Chris to think that the Bucs would stand pat with their QB situation and make him the de facto starter. Ironically, now it looks like if he continues to struggle he might not even make the Bucs roster.

It's sad and sorry, but he is one of the good guys and I wish him well. The better he does the better it is for the Bucs.

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. --Umberto Eco

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#8 : June 30, 2007, 11:18:59 AM

Simple solution.  Play better.

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#9 : June 30, 2007, 11:43:55 AM

Chris has a very high opinion of his ability.  We knew this as far back as the draft when he was stunned he fell to the third.  That confidence is certainly something necessary in a pro player, but I think he's not realistic in his self-assessment.  The contract he turned down was more than fair value for him, and he did himself a disservice by not taking it -- the staff obviously knew his current skill level better than he did.  Had he been a bit more realistic he migh not have passed on that.  That was his mistake, re-signing here this year wasn't

As for changing his mind "knowing what he knows now", what exactly does that mean?  Knowing that they were bringing in a Vet after his horrible showing?  He already knew that was coming.  Knowing that his motion was shot?  I wonder how that would be any different had he not signed with us this year.

Chris still has a chance here, he's just got to earn it.  How about that.  Having to earn something.  Thats not really a terrible thing.  Just show that you can be the guy,  Tampa is his best chance for that, had he gone somewhere else with his hurt motion and had to learn a new system he'd be sitting all year now matter what.  Here at least he can work his way back to the #2 spot.






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#10 : June 30, 2007, 01:08:11 PM

Chris has a very high opinion of his ability. We knew this as far back as the draft when he was stunned he fell to the third.

I don't agree with that at all.

I feel if he was confident in his ability, he would've tested free agency instead of "settling" for what the Bucs offered but thats just my opinion.

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#11 : June 30, 2007, 01:14:16 PM

Chris has a very high opinion of his ability. We knew this as far back as the draft when he was stunned he fell to the third. That confidence is certainly something necessary in a pro player, but I think he's not realistic in his self-assessment. The contract he turned down was more than fair value for him, and he did himself a disservice by not taking it -- the staff obviously knew his current skill level better than he did. Had he been a bit more realistic he migh not have passed on that. That was his mistake, re-signing here this year wasn't

As for changing his mind "knowing what he knows now", what exactly does that mean? Knowing that they were bringing in a Vet after his horrible showing? He already knew that was coming. Knowing that his motion was shot? I wonder how that would be any different had he not signed with us this year.

Chris still has a chance here, he's just got to earn it. How about that. Having to earn something. Thats not really a terrible thing. Just show that you can be the guy, Tampa is his best chance for that, had he gone somewhere else with his hurt motion and had to learn a new system he'd be sitting all year now matter what. Here at least he can work his way back to the #2 spot.





Yet according to Gruden Garcia is the starting QB... So how exactly has Garcia earned that? Playing well in mini camps earns you a start in the NFL? Playing good LAST season behind a much better O-line and HB to whom many of Garcias passes went to earn him a start? What makes anybody know for sure that we wil get the Eagles Garcia and not the Lions Garcia?
A respectful coach would not even mention starter, and I am sure when they were negotiating with Simms, nothing came up about Earning a start, which he has already done twice for this team.
I guess some Gruden lovers will claim its his way of motivating his QB's, like going off on Simms to the media about when he was drafted, yet putting all his hopes into a QB that was not even good enough to be drafted in the NFL and another that went in the 6th round.
You chose to judge Simms by his worst games, well try judging Garcia by his worse games and you won't like what you see either.
Throw in the fact that he is 37, and has a noodle arm and you are left with not much of a QB IMO.

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#12 : June 30, 2007, 01:24:38 PM

Great post UM

People are judging Garcia with a great line and running game and judging Simms with a bad line and no running game.

I assume Simms re-signed trusting it would be an open competition but Gruden didn't live up his end of the deal. Handing, yes handing, Garcia the starting job in the spring is a disgrace. Then I have to listen to guys like John Clayton on ESPN come out and say Garcia will be the reason Cadillac has a better year. I guess after he hands off he blocks the DT and branches off to the LB.



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#13 : June 30, 2007, 01:31:48 PM

A respectful coach would not even mention starter, and I am sure when they were negotiating with Simms, nothing came up about Earning a start, which he has already done twice for this team.
I guess some Gruden lovers will claim its his way of motivating his QB's, like going off on Simms to the media about when he was drafted, yet putting all his hopes into a QB that was not even good enough to be drafted in the NFL and another that went in the 6th round.
You chose to judge Simms by his worst games, well try judging Garcia by his worse games and you won't like what you see either.
Throw in the fact that he is 37, and has a noodle arm and you are left with not much of a QB IMO.


Karl the truth was on tv a few nites ago and was asked about Garcia being named the starter.... his response was that it was a good thing and that all players want/need to know who the guy is going into camp. I'll take his word over yours.

Secondly, when has Chris "earned" the starting job twice? He got the gig when a 5-1 Griese got hurt and ended with a 6-5 record of his own.... hardly a glowing resume. Last year, he "earned" the starting job by default... after competing with a 6th round rookie.

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#14 : June 30, 2007, 01:41:13 PM

Everyone has opinions on this topic. I have mine.

Simms, by his own admission, hasn't gotten his rhythm back.

Based on OTA's and mini camp, he has already fallen to 3rd and maybe even 4th.

Guess Gruden should have named Grads?

The players want to know (see Karl Williams comment).


Learn to disagree without being disagreeable-Ronald Reagan circa 1981
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