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Simms will make some NFL scouts sorry

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

May 6
There's so much made about player evaluation and scouting when talking about the NBA, MLB and NFL drafts. It's still difficult to tell what is in the heart and soul of an athlete.

For example, there have been some super basketball players who didn't go in round one and had solid careers, such as Jeff Hornacek and Dennis Rodman. Pistons defensive whiz Ben Wallace wasn't drafted at all.

Simms couldn't go to a better place than Tampa Bay, playing for a motivational genius like Jon Gruden.
In this year's NFL draft, I was surprised to see QB Chris Simms go at the end of the third round. I have to believe Simms has a great makeup, coming from such great genes. His dad, Phil, was a big-time success with the New York Giants, getting the most out of his ability. He has two Super Bowl rings, and that's the main objective in the NFL, baby!

Chris Simms was maligned big-time during his career at Texas. I believe he will respond to this challenge in a positive way. He couldn't go to a better place than Tampa Bay, playing for a motivational genius like Jon Gruden.

Who would have thought this talent would slip all the way down to the 97th pick in the draft? I believe some teams will pay big-time down the line. We'll find out in three or four years when we see how Mr. Simms performs. He'll have the opportunity to perform for a team with a wealth of talent. Gruden will get the most out of him, and Simms will learn from veteran QB Brad Johnson.

Over the years, a number of quarterbacks have slipped in the draft and proved the scouts wrong. Brett Favre went in the second round. Joe Montana was a third-round selection. Johnson, who was the winning quarterback in this year's Super Bowl, was a ninth-round pick in 1992.

Chris Simms couldn't ask for a better scenario. Now the big question is, how will he respond? Early in his career as a Longhorn, he was considered a lock to go in the first round. But he slipped in the eyes of some because his team failed in some of the big games. I find it mind-boggling that the kid would draw such criticism when the entire team faltered. It isn't just the QB!

I don't know much about football, though I did coach the sport in New Jersey on the junior high level and our team went 18-0 in two years. We found a way to get into the end zone, and I had great kids and great coaches to help.

As a Tampa Bay Bucs season-ticket holder, I am so happy to see Chris Simms on the Bucs. He will make some of those scouts really sorry that he slipped that far.