Matt Simms doesn't have any social media accounts, so he hasn't been privy to the groundswell of support from Jets fans in recent weeks.
With the state of Mark Sanchez's right shoulder injury unknown and Geno Smith demonstrating he’s not ready for the big state just yet – some members of Jet Nation are clamoring for the 24-year-old quarterback to take the reigns.
But when asked last week about his growing popularity, the former Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) star surprisingly tempered the excitement of Matt Mania.
“Hey, I played in one preseason game for two drives. Let’s keep everything realistic here,” he told Newsday Thursday. “Just day-to-day, practice-to-practice. Let’s not make it bigger than what it really is. I’m just trying to make the team right now and work hard and stay humble.
“There’s just no reason to get ahead of myself right now,” he added. “I know I need to continue to work and prepare and learn as much as I can about the game, about our offense. If I get opportunities, (I plan) to seize those opportunities and that’s all you can do really.”
And Simms has done just that.
So far this preseason, he has a passer rating of 137.5. He’s completed 11 of 15 for 193 yards, one touchdown and – unlike Sanchez and Smith – has no interceptions.
Simms' minutes, however, have come against backup defenses. Still, when given a chance to play, the rookie quarterback has impressed.
Saturday night’s 24-21 overtime win over the Giants in the MetLife Bowl was another example.
The son of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms went 6-for-10 for 120 yards -- including a 22-yard touchdown pass to rookie Ryan Spadola to put the Jets up 21-18, before connecting again with Spadola on a 70-yard completion that set up Billy Cundiff’s game-winning field goal.
“Technically I wasn’t really supposed to throw that,” Simms said Saturday night of the touchdown pass he threw. “But Ryan did a great job catching in the back window like that. That was one of those things, it was either going to be a great throw or a really bad decision. So, I’m happy it worked out well.”
As for his long completion to Spadola (aka, “Spicoli”), Simms said: “That play, just a scramble drill. Run out of the pocket and make something happen. Luckily I put enough juice on the ball for Spadola to come back and catch it. He did a great job coming back and making a great play after the catch as well.”
Simms told Newsday last week that he feels he’s shown the Jets coaching staff “that I’m improving every day and with each rep that I get, I’m getting better and not making the same mistake twice.”
But even though he had the best overall performance of any Jets quarterback Saturday night, Simms has known all along the QB competition would be centered solely on Sanchez and Smith.
“I think everyone understands the situation here with Mark and Geno. And that’s understandable,” he said Thursday. “And at most NFL camps, it’s really just mainly the first and second-team guys that get a lot of reps and I’ve been very fortunate with Marty that he’s passed along a few reps to me and Greg (McElroy) as well. So in that sense, we’re pretty fortunate as far as three and fours go.”