Chris Simms
refer to caption
Simms with the Broncos in November 2009
No. 2, 8, 11, 7
Personal information
Born: (1980-08-29) August 29, 1980 (age 42)
Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Ramapo
(Franklin Lakes, New Jersey)
NFL Draft:2003 / Round: 3 / Pick: 97
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts:511
Pass completions:297
Passing yards:3,117
QB Rating:69.1
Player stats at

Christopher David Simms (born August 29, 1980) is an American sports analyst and former football player. He was a quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft after playing college football for the Texas Longhorns.

Simms also played for the Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans. He is the son of former New York Giants quarterback and Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms and the older brother of quarterback Matt Simms.

Early years

Simms grew up in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey and attended Ramapo High School, where he was a standout in both football and basketball.[1] In football, he was a two-time All-State honoree, and was named the 1998 USA Today National Offensive Player of the Year.[1] Simms graduated from Ramapo High School in 1999.[2] After committing to the University of Tennessee during his senior year, Simms decommitted and enrolled at the University of Texas instead.[3]

College career

Simms played college football at the University of Texas at Austin from 1999 to 2002.

He spent his freshman year as the backup to Major Applewhite, and saw limited playing time until the end of the season. Going into the Texas A&M game (the so-called Bonfire Game as it followed the tragic death of 12 students during construction of A&M's annual bonfire), Texas was ranked #5, but right before that game, Applewhite got an intestinal virus that kept him up all night and required him to be put on an IV the next day. As a result, Simms got his first career start and had the Longhorns up 16–6 at halftime. After Simms struggled in the 2nd half, and with Texas still ahead, he was replaced by Applewhite in the 4th quarter, but Applewhite was not able to get Texas any points, they fell behind in the last 6 minutes and Applewhite fumbled on their last possession.[4] Simms took over again during the Cotton Bowl, when Applewhite suffered a knee injury in the 4th quarter.[5]

Simms in 2002
Simms in 2002

The next season Applewhite was again the starter, but Simms was more of a co-quarterback than a backup. After Applewhite played poorly in a loss to Stanford in the 2nd game, Simms was given his second career start in the following game against Houston. Simms struggled early and Applewhite got the majority of the snaps in what turned out to be a rout resulting in Applewhite regaining the role as starter. Simms would again get a chance to start when Applewhite suffered a season-ending knee injury on the last drive of the Texas Tech game.[6] Simms played well, throwing for 240 yards or more in each game, including a 383-yard game against #21 Texas A&M, the most ever by a Texas QB against the Aggies.[7] Texas went 2–1 with Simms as quarterback, with the only loss against #8 Oregon, a game Texas could have won – despite Simms setting the record for interceptions in a Holiday Bowl game with 4,[8] but for three dropped touchdown passes on the last drive.[9] Mack Brown was impressed enough to name Simms the starter before the start of spring practice, a decision that proved controversial.[10]

The Longhorns were ranked #5 to start the 2001 season and Simms' play through the first four games was good enough to keep them there. But in the Red River Showdown, Texas faced #3 Oklahoma and Simms' four interceptions, including one in the Sooners' end zone and one that was returned for a touchdown, sealed Oklahoma's victory. Nonetheless, Simms recovered to lead Texas to six straight wins with five straight 200-yard passing games, including a dominating win over #14 Colorado and his second straight win over the Aggies, a #3 ranking, and a rematch against #10 Colorado in the Big 12 Championship Game on December 1. Because of an upset loss by Florida to Tennessee earlier in the day, Texas went into the game knowing that a win would likely put them in the 2002 BCS Championship Game. But Simms had a disastrous game. He was responsible for four turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble) in the first half of play.[11] In the 2nd quarter, after being booed by Texas fans, Simms injured his finger and Applewhite entered the game with Texas down, 29–10. Applewhite led Texas back to within 2 points, but eventually Texas would come up short losing 39–37 after an onside kick attempt failed.[12] Applewhite's strong play, combined with Simms' injury, resulted in Simms sitting out the 2001 Holiday Bowl.

Texas came into the 2002 season with high hopes and a #2 ranking. Simms was the starter all season, and he threw for a career-high 3,207 yards, 2nd to only Applewhite at the time. Texas won its first 5 games and then faced their first challenge against #3 Oklahoma. Texas led in that game until the 4th quarter, when a 3rd Simms interception set up Oklahoma's winning touchdown.[13] Simms and Texas recovered to beat #17 Kansas State and #17 Iowa State in back to back weeks followed by wins over Nebraska and Baylor to climb back up to #3 in the rankings. But the following week, Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury threw for 473 yards to upset the Longhorns 42–38, despite Simms playing one of his best games, and scuttle their national championship dreams.[14] Simms capped his year with his 3rd straight victory over Texas A&M and his first bowl win over #25 LSU in the Cotton Bowl. In the Cotton Bowl he threw for 269 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception – with more than half of those yards going to Cotton Bowl MVP Roy Williams.[15] Simms was named the team's MVP for the season.

He finished with a career record of 26–6, second largest number of wins, at the time, to Bobby Layne. He also played in the 2002 Senior Bowl in which he threw an interception that went for a Senior Bowl record 99-yard return.[16]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Wonderlic
6 ft 4+38 in
(1.94 m)
220 lb
(100 kg)
32+34 in
(0.83 m)
10+12 in
(0.27 m)
4.86 s 1.69 s 2.84 s 4.18 s 7.37 s 31.0 in
(0.79 m)
All values from NFL Combine[18]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Simms was drafted with the last pick of the 3rd round in 2003 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the expectation that he would eventually be the successor to Brad Johnson. He was cast third on the Bucs depth chart behind Johnson and former Buccaneers starter Shaun King. Simms sat his entire rookie year without playing a single snap in the regular season.[19]


In 2004, Simms started the season as the 3rd string quarterback again, this time behind Johnson and former Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins starter Brian Griese, but quickly advanced to backup quarterback after a poor preseason by Griese. Simms saw his first action on September 19, 2004 against the Seattle Seahawks after a below-average performance by Johnson, coming into the game with 10:32 left in the 2nd quarter. Simms went 21–32 with 175 yards and an interception.[20] Simms received his first start two games later against the New Orleans Saints on October 10, 2004 after the Bucs started 0–4 and Johnson was benched for his poor performance. Simms went 5–8 for 75 yards but injured his shoulder early in the game and missed three weeks, allowing Brian Griese to secure the position with 3 straight wins. Simms saw occasional action as the backup QB to Griese and started a meaningless final game against the Arizona Cardinals where he threw for 224 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.[21]


In 2005, Simms was slated on the depth chart as the backup quarterback, behind Griese and ahead of former Cleveland Browns starting quarterback Luke McCown. Simms got his first snap of the season after Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas was pushed onto Griese's leg with several minutes left in the game on October 16, 2005. Despite the injury, the Buccaneers prevailed 27–13 in the game in which Griese was lost for the season. Simms performed well, completing 6 of 10 passes for 69 yards.[22] Simms got his first start of the season the following week against a weak San Francisco 49ers squad. While Simms had decent numbers (21–34, 264 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions), his performance was considered poor, as there were many times when he underthrew his receivers, missed open receivers, or incorrectly read the defensive coverage. Simms followed up this performance with about the same performance (25–42, 259 yards, 1 touchdowns, 2 interceptions) against the division rival Carolina Panthers, who were considered a much better team than San Francisco. After these two losses however, Simms performed better than expected and had a knack for late-game heroics. He led fourth-quarter charges against fellow division rival Atlanta twice, as well as the Washington Redskins. The Redskin game was his best performance of the year as Simms threw for 3 scores as the Buccaneers won 36–35 in a remarkable game. Simms had a much more impressive performance in the rematch against Carolina on the road. The two losses in this stretch were against the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, and the Chicago Bears, who were ranked #1 in the league in total defense, and in both of these games, Simms did not throw any interceptions, but was sacked a combined 11 times. He even led Tampa Bay to another fourth-quarter comeback against the Bears but a 29-yard field goal attempt floated wide right, giving the Bears a 13–10 victory.[23]

Simms led the Buccaneers to their first playoff berth since their Super Bowl victory in the 2002 season. In the rematch vs. the Redskins Simms led Tampa Bay back again from a 17–3 halftime deficit. With the score at 17–10 late in the fourth quarter, Simms hit Edell Shepherd on an apparent 35-yard touchdown strike. However, Shepherd failed to maintain possession as he hit the ground. Tampa Bay lost 17–10 in a game where Washington gained only 120 yards of offense, the lowest total for a playoff winner in NFL history.[24]

Simms with the Titans in 2008
Simms with the Titans in 2008

Life-threatening injury

Simms suffered a season-ending injury in Game 3 of the 2006 schedule. On Sunday, September 24, he was taken off the field after taking hard hits from the Carolina Panthers defense. Simms returned to the game and even led a successful scoring drive, but remained in physical distress and was taken to a nearby hospital after the game. Tests revealed a ruptured spleen, and Simms immediately underwent emergency surgery. In the aftermath, Simms said he lost five pints of blood before the operation and conceded that another 45 minutes without treatment could have been fatal. Playing on a one-year, $2.1 million contract signed before the season, Simms was eligible for free agency for 2007.


On December 27, 2006, Simms announced that he had signed a two-year extension to remain with the Buccaneers with the expectation that he would start. However, due to complications from his recovery and the performance of Jeff Garcia in mini-camp, Simms was expected to serve as a backup to Garcia.[25] On October 9, Simms was placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season.[26] The Bucs were expected to keep Simms on the roster for mini camp as their fifth quarterback.

Simms' relationship with head coach Jon Gruden worsened significantly during this period. Simms attributed his lack of playing time to how Gruden treated him during his recovery from the spleen injury. He has even said that "The relationship between me and coach Gruden, it’s broken," Simms said. "And I don’t see any way it’s going to get better." Simms also said that he will never forgive Gruden, although he still respects the Buccaneers as an organization.[27]

On August 30, 2008, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Simms.[28] He worked out with the Baltimore Ravens during the preseason but was not signed.

Tennessee Titans (first stint)

Simms signed with the Tennessee Titans on September 9, 2008 after starter Vince Young was sidelined with a sprained MCL.[29] In Young's absence, Simms served as the backup quarterback behind Kerry Collins until October 3, when Simms was released to make room for punter Josh Miller. Simms was re-signed the following week on October 6.

Denver Broncos

Simms with the Broncos in 2009
Simms with the Broncos in 2009

On March 4, 2009, Simms signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Denver Broncos. The deal included a $1.5 million signing bonus and Simms could have earned an additional $3 million through incentives. He was the backup quarterback to Kyle Orton. However, he took over in the second half of a game against the Washington Redskins after Orton left with a sprained ankle, and eventually gave up the lead to the Redskins while going 3–13 passing for 13 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He started against the San Diego Chargers on November 22, 2009 but was quickly replaced by Orton in the second quarter after going a disappointing 2 for 4 for only 10 yards. He was released on March 15, 2010 after the Broncos traded for Brady Quinn.[30]

Tennessee Titans (second stint)

On April 12, 2010, Simms was re-signed by the Tennessee Titans.[31]

On September 4, 2010, Simms was cut from the Titans roster. On November 22, 2010, he was re-signed to be a backup quarterback behind Rusty Smith, after the season-ending injury to Vince Young. He was not brought back for the 2011 season, nor was he picked up by another team.

NFL career statistics

Year Team GP Passing Rushing
Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2003 TB 0 DNP
2004 TB 5 42 73 57.5 467 6.4 1 3 64.1 7 14 2.0 0
2005 TB 11 191 313 61.0 2,035 6.5 10 7 81.4 19 31 1.6 0
2006 TB 3 58 106 54.7 585 5.5 1 7 46.3 4 7 1.8 1
2007 TB 0 DNP
2008 TEN 1 1 2 50.0 7 3.5 0 0 58.3 0 0 0.0 0
2009 DEN 3 5 17 29.4 23 1.4 0 1 15.1 0 0 0.0 0
Total 23 297 511 58.1 3,117 6.1 12 18 69.1 30 52 1.7 1

Coaching career

Simms was hired as a coaching assistant by the New England Patriots on March 26, 2012.[32] He had two main roles. One was in offensive quality control which involved breaking down film for the offense. He also had responsibilities in putting together the scouting report.[33]

Broadcasting career

On July 22, 2013, Chris Simms was included in Fox Sports' commentator lineup for the 2013 college football season. He made his debut as color commentator when West Virginia University played the College of William & Mary on August 31, 2013.[34]

Chris Simms joined Bleacher Report in February 2014 as an NFL analyst.[35]

From 2014 to 2016, Simms was as a color commentator for the NFL on CBS, joining his father as part of the CBS broadcasting team.[36] He left after the 2016 season to join his father's old employer, NBC Sports, where he is a studio analyst for Notre Dame football and a personality on NBC Sports Radio.[37] In March 2019, Simms left Bleacher Report to become a full-time employee of NBC working as an analyst for Football Night In America and Notre Dame football, as well as co-host of ProFootballTalk Live.[38] In 2021, he began to co-host Peacock's Sunday Night Football Final.[39]

Personal life

Simms married Danielle Marie Puleo in August 2004, whom he first met in high school.[40] Together, they have two children: Charlotte, born in 2006, and Phillip, born in 2010.

Simms was arrested in July 2010 and charged with driving while intoxicated, but was acquitted at trial in May 2011.[41]


  1. ^ a b Davis, Ken. "RUTGERS FANS HOLD A HOMECOMING BARBECUE FOR RETURNING SON CHRIS SIMMS TAKES HIS PLACE ON THE GRILL", Hartford Courant, September 15, 1999. Accessed May 26, 2011. "Freshman quarterback Chris Simms learned that Saturday. The son of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms, he grew up in Franklin Lakes, N.J., and played at Ramapo High School, where he was USA Today's high school offensive player of the year in 1998."
  2. ^ High School Profile Archived May 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Simms Grows Up With Son". Daily News. New York. January 31, 1999.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Aggies' emotional win after bonfire tragedy is No. 9 memory". June 30, 2009.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 8, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Bowl Championship Series – No. 20 Texas 29, Texas Tech 17".
  7. ^ "Simms, Chris".
  8. ^ "Individual Records". Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "NCAA Football – Texas vs. Oregon".
  10. ^ "Texas DE Pittman dies; Simms named starter". Amarillo Globe-News. Amarillo. February 27, 2001. Archived from the original on March 8, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  11. ^ Richmond, Travis (December 1, 2001). "Applewhite to start in Holiday Bowl". USA Today. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  12. ^ TR (November 28, 2005). "2001 Big 12 Title Game, Revisited". Burnt Orange Nation.
  13. ^ "No. 2 Oklahoma 35, No. 3 Texas 24". University of Texas Athletics.
  14. ^ "Longhorns fall to Red Raiders in shootout". University of Texas Athletics.
  15. ^ "2003 SBC Cotton Bowl Classic No. 9 Texas 35, LSU 20". University of Texas Athletics.
  16. ^, Tommy. "North shuts out South in low-scoring Senior Bowl". Tuscaloosa News.
  17. ^ "Chris Simms' Wonderlic Test Score". Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  18. ^ "Chris Simms, Combine Results, QB – Texas". Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  19. ^ Chris Simms Team Bio Archived June 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "St. Pete Times". Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  21. ^ Chris Simms Team Bio Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Buccaneers' Team Website". Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  23. ^ Buccaneers' Team Website Archived November 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "FOX Sports". August 26, 2010. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  25. ^ "ESPN Gruden Hitches Future to Garcia". June 21, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  26. ^ "News". Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  27. ^ "Simms Calls Relationship With Gruden "Broken"". June 9, 2008. Archived from the original on August 29, 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  28. ^ "Bucs release QB Simms, LB Nece". Tampa Bay Times. August 30, 2008. Archived from the original on January 11, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  29. ^ Clayton, John (September 10, 2008). "Sprained MCL to keep Titans' Young out of lineup". ESPN. Retrieved October 4, 2008.
  30. ^ Klis, Mike (March 15, 2010). "Broncos cut quarterback Chris Simms". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  31. ^ Smith, Michael David (April 12, 2010). "Titans add Chris Simms". Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  32. ^ "Chris Simms hired by New England". Boston Globe. March 26, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  33. ^ "Eagles are better than Patriots and it won't matter: Chris Simms". New York Post. February 2, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  34. ^ Solinsky, Matt (July 22, 2013). "Fox Sports announces college football plans". The Desert Sun. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
  35. ^ Report, Bleacher (February 20, 2014). "B/R's Simms: Browns Will Look to Add Multiple RBs in Draft, None in Free Agency".
  36. ^ Pergament, Alan (June 10, 2014). Tasker to be part of three-man booth at CBS Archived September 28, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. The Buffalo News. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  37. ^ "MIKE TIRICO TO SERVE AS PLAY-BY-PLAY VOICE FOR NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL ON NBC". NBC Sports Group. August 14, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  38. ^ "Chris Simms Joins Nbc Sports Group Exclusively In March 2019". February 6, 2019.
  39. ^ Axson, Scooby. "NBC Sports adds new NFL streaming show after 'Sunday Night Football' to air on Peacock". USA TODAY. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  40. ^ "NYT Wedding Accouncements". New York Times. August 8, 2004. Retrieved September 22, 2010.
  41. ^ "New York jury acquits Chris Simms". Associated Press. May 4, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011.