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CBS adds Chris Simms to depth chart

Tennessee Titans quarterback Chris Simms warms up before

Tennessee Titans quarterback Chris Simms warms up before a preseason game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Tennessee Titans on Monday, Aug. 23, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn. Credit: AP / Wade Payne

Chris Simms never has worked in the TV booth for an NFL game, but his father, Phil, believes he will be a natural.

For one thing, he knows the game. For another, he likes to talk.

And this: "He's a smart [aleck]," Phil said. "It's genetic."

It will be a while before New York-area fans get to hear Chris, who is scheduled to analyze three relatively low-profile games for CBS this season, beginning with Titans-Bengals in Week 3.

But Simms, 34, figures to move up in the TV world if he chooses to follow his father's post-playing path.

"I think he has great potential,"' Phil said. "He was raised to do it in this way. Him, me, my wife, anyone who walks into our house, most likely the conversation is going to center around football and we're going to talk about it. That's the way we've been our whole lives."

Said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus: "He's better looking and more articulate than his father is; he got his good looks from his mother . . . We're starting him very slowly on a few small games and we'll see how he grows, but he's got a great football mind and has worked not only as a player but as an assistant coach also."

Simms had worked as a coaching and scouting assistant for the Patriots, but with two young children he sought a more family-friendly schedule. His primary job now is as head NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.?

"I struggled with that," he said. "I was offered another job in the NFL, and that sparked a discussion with my wife: Are we going to live this life and move every two or three years to climb the ladder? This is a little more stable.

"My kids can grow up. This is still work. but I get home at a decent hour and see my kids every night."

Simms worked some college games for Fox last season, but moving to the NFL should be seamless, since it is his job at Bleacher Report to know what is going on around the league.

"I have to know everybody," he said. "I really know, I'm not going to say everything, but a lot about every team."

Standing in a room full of CBS and NFL Network experts at a media luncheon last month, his father said: "I would bet you that nobody in this room knows as much about the NFL as he does, because he follows every team closely for his job. That's what he likes doing."

Has Phil offered any broadcasting advice? Not really, beyond just being himself.

"It always comes down to this: When you have knowledge of something, it's easy to talk about," Phil said. "That's the biggest thing. Even if you never talk about it you have to know it in the back of your head, because it frees up your mind."

Chris played in parts of five seasons for the Buccaneers, Titans and Broncos, but never fully recovered from a life-threatening ruptured spleen early in the 2006 season.

"That's the frustrating thing; I feel like I could still play physically," he said. "My injury kind of put a damper on my career. It was an uphill battle for me to ever get back.

"I don't know if I ever got back to 100 percent of me, but close to it. Really, what happens in the NFL is I just got a little unfortunate in that I didn't get to play in some regular-season games and then perception becomes reality after a while and people start to think: Is there something wrong with him?"

Simms said he relished watching his younger brother, Matt, get a chance to play for the Jets last season. Matt is on the team's practice squad to start the 2014 season.

"It's awesome, the best," Chris said. "We're so happy for him. He's been so unlucky with how his college career went down, but he's in a good spot . . . He has a lot of talent. He just has to hang around, get NFL reps.

"I don't care how hard you practice. Until 300-pound guys are trying to rip your head off, that cannot be simulated anywhere else but on the game field."

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