Simms feels nerves, tension on first day

Chris Simms (AP Photo)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Chris Simms finally graced the Bucs with his presence on Saturday after skipping the entire offseason program. The disgruntled quarterback admitted to some tension and some rust, but otherwise more resembled the quarterback he was before his frightening spleen injury.

How did the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fare on Saturday afternoon at training camp? Learn about the Bucs' new digs, which players didn't practice in the afternoon and which receivers shined. Also, who's sporting the latest hairstyle, who made the best catch of the day and who's having snap issues? Get the scoop right here live from training camp. Get the scoop right here.


LAKE BUENA VISTA — Another day, another quarterback on the firing line.

On Friday the talk was about Brett Favre, and the former Packers quarterback was still the subject of questions. But as much talk, if not more, focused on disgruntled quarterback Chris Simms, who took his first reps of the year on Saturday at Buccaneers training camp.

The fifth-year pro, who missed all of last year while recovering from complications of a ruptured spleen, admitted to a case of nerves when he hit the field.

"I was so nervous about today, I just wanted to get out here and get going," Simms said. "The rest will take care of itself."

Simms has made no secret that he wants out of Tampa Bay. But the Bucs appear reluctant to make a deal, based on their history with quarterbacks getting injured and their desire to get something in return for Simms.

So Simms skipped all of the team's offseason activities, including the mandatory mini-camp in June. He worked out in New Jersey and Friday marked his first face-to-face conversation with head coach Jon Gruden since last season.

Was there tension? A little.

"I'm not going to lie — it's a little uncomfortable, no doubt," Simms said. "After we got over that initial uneasiness, I think we both got over it. We're here to get better and we'll see where the future takes us."

Simms said Gruden commented on the quarterback's shorn head.

Simms said he was happy with his first workout and said his body felt right on the football field for the first time in nearly two years. He threw the ball well overall, though he did throw a screen pass at running back Warrick Dunn's shoetops on Saturday.

"I missed a throw to him (Dunn)," Simms said. "I was trying to place it so perfectly instead of just throwing it. That was the big thing to overcome right now."

Gruden said that he and Simms "didn't exactly exchange Hallmark cards" when they met on Friday night and expressed cautious optimism over Simms' play on Saturday.

"He still has a long way to go," Gruden said.

As for Favre, Gruden had no new reports on the situation. Reportedly the Bucs and Jets are the two teams most interested in dealing for the three-time MVP, but the Jets are the only ones with permission to speak to Favre.

Reports say the Packers might seek as much as a first-round pick for the 38-year-old quarterback.

Combine that with the fact that starter Jeff Garcia is out of town until Monday, and most of Saturday's questions revolved around Simms and Favre — even to the point of asking the other quarterbacks about both situations.

Brian Griese, for one, wasn't all that amused.

"That's the third time someone's asked that," Griese said. "Y'all share quotes, don't you? You want to know about Brett Favre? Like I said, I don't worry about Brett Favre. I think he's a great guy and a great player, but this is my 11th year in the league and I'm just trying to get through training camp."

WHITE ARRIVES: DE Greg White practiced on Saturday after signing a one-year tender worth about $370,000. White was an exclusive rights free agent and had little leverage, even though he and his agent, Jack Bechta, sought a more lucrative, long-term deal.

GALLOWAY MISSES PRACTICE: Starting wide receiver Joey Galloway missed Saturday morning's workout with a groin injury, according to Gruden.


How did the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fare on Saturday morning at training camp? Find out here. Learn how QB Chris Simms looked during practice, what players took first and second-team reps, which wide receiver had a great workout and which defensive back made his presence felt. It's an exclusive from Bucsblitz.com. Get the scoop right here.


Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of Bucsblitz.com

BucsBlitz.com Recommended Stories