Sunday, April 27, 2003

Bad news, good news for Simms


After long wait, Texas QB lands with Bucs

By Fred Goodall
The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. - Chris Simms had given up on the NFL draft and turned his television to the NBA playoffs.

The disappointed Texas quarterback watched the end of the New Jersey Nets' overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA playoffs Saturday, and had just started getting into the Philadelphia 76ers-New Orleans Hornets game when he received a call from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the end of the third round.

Simms, son of former New York Giants star Phil Simms, expected to go anywhere between 15th and 25th overall. Instead, he went 97th - and was the sixth player drafted at his position.

He wound up with the Super Bowl champions and a coach - Jon Gruden - that has a reputation for molding successful quarterbacks. Still, he's still determined to prove the league's other 31 teams made a mistake.

"It's been frustrating. I stopped watching the draft about two hours ago," Simms said. "I'm glad it's finally over with. Now I go play football and show the other people they didn't know what they were talking about."

Even though starter Brad Johnson is coming off his best season and Tampa Bay also has three experienced backups in Jim Miller, Shane Matthews and Shaun King, Gruden said Simms will have every opportunity to develop and realize his potential with Tampa Bay.

"We think he has great promise," Gruden said. "We have something to prove, Chris and I both, that we made the right choice."

Simms completed nearly 59 percent of his passes and threw for 7,097 yards and 58 touchdowns in four seasons at Texas. He said he was not concerned about heading to a team with so many veterans ahead of him on the depth chart.

"I just look forward to being there with the team, learning as much as possible," he said. "I could have easily been drafted in the first round and wound up in the same situation."

General manager Rich McKay said the Bucs gave some thought to taking Simms with the last pick in the second round (No. 64 overall), but felt Louisville defensive end Dewayne White would be a better selection at that time. The 6-foot-2, 273-pound White is Conference USA's career leader with 371/2 sacks.

The Bucs didn't have a pick in the first round for the second straight year because of the trade that brought Gruden from Oakland. It's the fourth time since 1997 that Tampa Bay hasn't picked above the second round.




BENGALS DRAFT ( Complete draft coverage )
Fourth pick Weathersby recovering from gunshot
Bengals all offense on draft's Day 1
Guard Steinbach slips out of first round
Size, speed make WR Washington a threat
Palmer glad fuss is over

NFL DRAFT
Rating the draft: Winners & losers
Draft picks by team | By number
Defensive line dominates first round
Surprise: Browns take center
Ravens, Steelers trade up to fill needs
Three UC players drafted
Five Buckeyes selected
Jets take Colerain grad Askew
Jags get Leftwich; big questions to come
Newman goes to Cowboys
Jets trade up for UK's Robertson
Bad news, good news for Simms

SUNDAY BASEBALL
Reds 7, Padres 5
Sunday Box, Runs
Phillies' Millwood no-hits Giants

SATURDAY BASEBALL
Reds 7, Padres 6
Photo gallery | Box, Runs
Kearns shows power, promise and poise
Reds E-Mail: Boone genius or time to go?
Reds Chatter
Solid start relieves Graves
Reds Notebook: Wily Mo gets a start
Reds' Minor League Notebook
Toledo 4, Louisville 0
NL: Dodgers finally get big hit
AL: Angels get lift from Shields
Who's Hot & Who's Not

KENTUCKY DERBY
Fan's guide to the Kentucky Derby
Other Derby Week Events
Where else to go in Louisville
Derby Notebook: New owners for Domestic Dispute

FLYING PIG MARATHON
Flying Pig gets new start

XAVIER BASKETBALL
DAUGHERTY: Let's hope XU reason kids come
What's the motta with Matta?

UC FOOTBALL
UC defense bares teeth
Three UC players picked in NFL draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Lesser-known Buckeyes star in spring game
UK unveils two-headed QB

NBA PLAYOFFS
NBA: Jazz not ready to crown Kings

NHL PLAYOFFS
NHL: Ducks take 2-0 lead on Stars

LOCAL SPORTS
Cyclones go down 3-0 in series
Vogelgesang cracks PBA top 60
College Update: For NKU, winning starts with pitching
Enquirer Power Rankings
Sports on TV-Radio

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Mayo billed as next LeBron
Saturday's High School Results

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