The New York Jets went into their preseason finale with more than just the starting quarterback job unsettled. Matt Simms and Greg McElroy are in a close battle for the No. 3 job, and with McElroy injured, Simms was given the start and a huge opportunity to prove he was worthy of a roster spot.
Simms responded in a big way, completing 33 of 44 passes for 285 yards. Simms displayed his big arm on several occasions, and made several excellent throws into tight windows. Of course, this all occurred against the Philadelphia Eagles’ No. 2 and No. 3 string defense, so please ignore any nonsense you hear about Simms being a potential starter.
However, the Jets were looking to see Simms step up, and the coaching staff must have been very happy with what they saw. McElroy has been the third string quarterback for the Jets for the last two seasons, but he does not have any starting potential. McElroy is highly intelligent and a good locker room presence, but the reality is that he doesn’t have an NFL arm. Simms does, and for that reason the Jets should keep him as their third QB.
The preseason is all about young players having the opportunity to step up and prove themselves, and Simms is exactly the type of player teams are looking for. As an undrafted free agent, he was a long shot heading into camp, but he has worked hard and proved that he is a capable player. More importantly, Simms has translated strong practice play into even better games, and his arm strength and accuracy make him a player the Jets want to try to develop.
Simms had a huge opportunity with this game, and he deserves a ton of credit for rising to the occasion. At this point, I would be shocked if he doesn’t make the team as the third string quarterback.