BOSTON (CBS) – As you may already be aware, Chris Simms is somebody that’s been very vocal about Tom Brady.
Simms, who makes a living sharing his opinions for Bleacher Report and CBS, started what seemed like a crusade against Tom Brady’s ability back in November. He said Brady, the eventual Super Bowl champion and MVP, is not a top five quarterback in the league, twice.
“This is cheating, flat out,” Simms told WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Tuesday afternoon. “Cheating in the NFL. No quarterbacks take out less air than what is mandated by the NFL. Nobody. I’ve never heard of anybody (doing) it. Plain and simple, I put it up there with PEDs, corking your bat, any of that.”
This whole thing has really, really hurt Simms. Not as a former quarterback, but as a sports fan.
“I don’t have a lot of sports memorabilia in my house. I have a Tom Brady autographed helmet. Tom Brady was one of my favorite quarterbacks of all time, but I’m not so sure he is anymore now after all this,” said Simms.
On Thursday afternoon, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand caught up with Simms to speak with him directly.
“I do view it as cheating. I really do,” Simms said. “I think taking the air out of a football is cheating, plain and simple. You’re getting a tactical advantage against the other football team, and then that also goes into integrity of the game.”
Simms says he can remember as far back as his rookie mini camp the ball boys asking him how he prefers the footballs, whether it be 12.5 pounds per square inch or 13.5 PSI.
As far as the Aaron Rodgers argument — He likes his footballs OVER the legal limit! — Simms thinks under-inflated footballs are where the real advantage lies.
Simms, formerly a quality control coach for the Patriots, says he was never privy to how Brady likes his footballs prepared, and expressed sympathy for head coach Bill Belichick in this whole matter.
“I’ve said this a million times: Bill Belichick is the biggest rule follower I’ve ever been around. Hands down. That’s the guy I feel more sorry for than anybody in this whole process, because now his name is going to get tainted along with this as well,” Simms said. “You couldn’t bet $5 on the NCAA Final Four in the New England Patriots building because Bill wasn’t going to allow it. There’s no gambling in the CBA.”
Despite his stance, Simms insists he does not have an anti-Brady bias.
“Tom is a phenomenal person. I love Tom the guy. I just don’t agree with this tactic,” Simms said.
Despite winning the Super Bowl MVP, Simms maintains that Tom Brady is not a top five quarterback in the NFL.
“I don’t think he should have been the MVP of the Super Bowl. I think Julian Edelman [should have won it]. [Brady] made 38 five-yard passes, then completed a 3rd-and-14 on a great throw, and he threw the slant-and-go to Rob Gronkowski for the touchdown. Julian Edelman would have been my MVP. Josh McDaniels would have been my MVP for one of the best game plans against one of the best defenses I’ve ever seen. But Tom literally threw the ball for 38 four or five-yard throws over the middle or into the flats.”
Scott Zolak, a former quarterback himself, doesn’t understand why Simms undervalues the short pass. Simms was taken in the third round of the 2003 draft, played for 3 different teams and started 16 games total before retiring after the 2010 season.
Listen below for the full interview: