Andrew Luck

Phil Simms and his crusade against Andrew Luck

Phil Simms (or Pheel Seems, as he pronounces it) just won’t stop talking about Stanford quarterback and NFL uber-prospect Andrew Luck. Unlike pretty much everyone who watches college and professional football, Simms isn’t impressed.

We subscribed to Showtime before The Franchise started up, and since they have a bunch of shows my wife likes like The Big C, Weeds and Dexter (the latter two shows I used to like as well, until both started blatantly sucking) we kept the subscription. The biggest bonus on my end is Inside The NFL, mostly because they have NFL Films highlights and it’s kind of a nostalgiac piece of entertainment since I remember watching the old version of the show featuring Len Dawson and Nick Buoniconti.

I have no complaints about the current hosts, except for one (you probably know where this is going). Cris Collinsworth has grown on me over the years, Warren Sapp is pretty awesome on television and James Brown seems like he might be the nicest person in the world (other than Andres Torres, of course). But Seems — oops, I mean Simms — is either getting angry as he grows older or was always this way and we weren’t paying attention.

Before we get to the Luck thing, we had a clue that Simms was a hothead, specifically when he threatened to hit Desmond Howard after Howard called Simms’ son Matt one of the worst quarterbacks in the SEC. Simms, now a senior at Tennessee, has failed to complete 50% of his passes in his last three games, completing 19-of-49 passes for 232 yards, 0 TD and 3 INT in three blowout losses. In other words, Chris Simms looks like Andrew Luck in comparison to his brother.

Shots Fired

Recently on Inside the NFL, Simms went off on a variety of topics, sounding more than a little irrational in the process. While his thoughts on free speech came off a little bitter (“You can’t say anything on the field anymore. (Players) go running to the press. They tweet it and they cry about everything. … (When Simms played), you would turn around and yell at the fans. I yelled at fans everywhere. If you do that now you’d get fined by the league, probably suspended, and of course the fan would sue you.”), his comments about Luck and Peyton Manning were utterly moronic.

From USA Today:

On Luck, Simms says, forget what Colts owner Jim Irsay thinks. Simms says, “There is no way if Peyton Manning is given a clean bill of health — I’m going to go on that assumption — that he is going to let them draft Andrew Luck.” Partly, Simms suggests, that’s because Manning might then find it hard to keep his job: “In this day and age, even with Peyton Manning, people would be crying, ‘We’ve got to see Andrew Luck.’ “

Since that show aired, the Rams beat the Saints and the Dolphins came very close to upsetting the Giants at home, seemingly putting Indianapolis into the role as odds-on favorites to end up with the NFL’s worst record and the No. 1 overall pick. Perhaps sensing the Colts might make a huge mistake unless they’re led to realize just how horribly untalented Luck actually is, Simms hit the airwaves and tried his hardest to get everyone to realize just how average the Heisman Trophy favorite truly is.

“I think the hype is a little too much,” Simms told Adam Schein and Rich Gannon of SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday.  “I feel bad for him in that respect.   I mean, what’s he going to do to match what they say he can do?

“There’s a lot to him.  I think his best quality, by far, is he’s big and strong and he’s going to be able to move and run in the NFL.  There’s no question.  I mean, this guy is strong.  The throwing?  He manages a game.  I see all that.

“But the one thing I don’t see, I just don’t see big time NFL throws.  I don’t care what anybody says.  I’ve watched a lot of him.  He never takes it and rips it in there.  And you can say what you want but, man, you’ve got to be able to crease that ball every once in a while.  We see it every week in these games.  Hey, he can develop it but even in the USC game, you know, he’s very careful with it, guides it a lot, Rich.  That’s what I see.  There’s not a lot of rotation on the ball and there’s not a tremendous amount of power.  Not that you need to have that power arm.  I’m not saying you’ve got to have that exclusively but, man, it sure helps when you can do that because there’s four or five plays a game it is about arm strength.  And sometimes quarterbacks who don’t have it, they pass those plays up.  Why?  Well, they go, ‘I don’t know if I can make that throw,’ so they throw it short.  That’s why I’m a little more reserved in my judgment than everybody else.”

With new contestants for TV analyst jobs retiring from the NFL every year, it makes sense that the guys currently holding those jobs would want to stay in the public eye, take contrarian points of view and do anything they can to avoid getting swept aside. Who knows, maybe Simms wants to keep Peyton on the field as long as possible, seeing as one of the networks will certainly offer Manning their top analyst role the second he announces his retirement.

The hype around Luck is overwhelming, but how is it unwarranted? This isn’t a decent quarterback surrounded by an SEC team full of future NFL All-Pros — take Luck off Stanford and they’re an 8-win team, tops. Luck unleashes more throws without “a tremendous amount of power” because that’s what he’s asked to do, and those throws almost always work. Luck might not have Jay Cutler’s arm strength, but when he needs to fit a ball into a small window he doesn’t have any trouble doing so.

Luck’s “beard” is definitely ripe for scrutiny, but for Simms to crap all over Luck’s pro prospects like this makes one wonder: just how many Stanford games has Pheel Seems watched, anyway?

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