Matt Simms won a spot on the Jets' roster with a strong showing in the preseason. He led scoring drives in the fourth quarter and overtime to beat the Giants. He then completed 33 passes for 285 yards against the Eagles in the preseason finale. Mark Sanchez's injury made Simms the second quarterback on gameday in 2013. What does his future look like?
It is kind of tough to look at his future without looking at his past. He has never been considered much of an NFL prospect. He couldn't even hold a starting job in college over Tyler Bray, not a special prospect himself. When he did play, he was only a 54% passer, and he threw more interceptions than touchdowns. He was undrafted. The Jets gave him a shot to come to camp in 2012. He was cut. The Jets didn't even deem him good enough for the practice squad. None of the other 31 teams signed him when they had a chance as Simms sat available for over three months.
How meaningful is Simms' preseason in this context? It's kind of tough to view it as anything significant. First of all, it was preseason. Teams weren't game-planning for him. They weren't scheming by throwing all kinds of new coverage and blitz concepts at him to trick him. Simms was also playing against the last guys on the other team's roster and guys who got cut. Some people say it means something. I don't think success against Ricky Sapp and Josh Bush caliber players in vanilla defenses say anything about how a guy can do against first team defenses with advanced schemes. Even if we are to view this success as meaningful, it took place in a game and change. Does that really mean Simms is any good? Kellen Clemens has had good individual games.
Simms got mostly mopup duty this year. He did get some meaningful snaps replacing a struggling Geno Smith at halftime of the Jets' loss to Miami in the Meadowlands. The Jets scored 3 points against Simms. Prior to the Dolphins going into a full-blown prevent defense on a drive starting with 5:59 left, Simms completed exactly one pass that resulted in a gain.
When I watch Simms, I see a guy who doesn't try to understand the defensive concepts or progressions as much as one who trusts his big arm and throws it as hard as he can. This is not really a recipe for NFL success.
I like the idea of having a developmental young quarterback on the roster. I think that guy should have a better chance of NFL success than Matt Simms, though. If he wasn't even good in college, how is he going to be good in the NFL? If the Jets want to bring him to camp in 2014, I can live with it. I think it would be a major disappointment if he was on the roster at the end of preseason, though.