It doesn’t take much to get former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms to open up about his career.
The Super Bowl XXI Most Valuable Player appeared on the podcast Games With Names, hosted by another Super Bowl MVP — Julian Edelman — and comedian Sam Morril, this week to talk about his career and the Super Bowl.
Simms played 15 seasons for Big Blue from 1979 through 1993 and was the seventh overall selection out of Morehead State in the 1979 NFL draft.
At the time, Simms’ selection was a surprise but on this show, he revealed the Giants had told him weeks before they were going to draft him.
“Back then, thank God, ESPN and everybody weren’t going over every player so the fans really didn’t know the players. I wasn’t surprised I went seventh,” Simms said.
“There was talk of you going earlier,” Morril questioned.
“No, I think I knew all the teams that were probably going to draft me, and I knew the Giants. They basically said two weeks before the draft ‘We’re taking you!’ They told my coach that too,” Simms said.
Years later, it was revealed that San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh also coveted Simms but did not have a first-round draft pick that year having traded it away to Buffalo for O.J. Simpson.
Simms’ career didn’t fully get off the ground until 1984 due to injuries and inconsistent play. In the beginning, it did not go smoothly for him. He recalled being starstruck in a preseason game against Pittsburgh in his rookie year.
“I get under the center and there’s Joe Greene and L.C. Greenwood. It was unbelievable…it was eight Hall of Famers. I have great stories about that game, but there’s me and Joe Greene. Let’s stop the game because I need some autographs. I idolized Terry Bradshaw growing up and there I was playing against him,” he said.
Simms went on to rave about the great Lawrence Taylor, who the Giants drafted second overall in 1981. Taylor made an immediate impact on the club.
“His rookie year, we had a scrimmage,” said Simms. “They had to take him out after ten plays. Had to take him out. He was sacking the quarterback every play. And I go, this guy is really everything they said he was.”
Simms was known for his public ‘debates’ with Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells, a person who still has a huge impact on his life.
“He yelled at you and then he would allow you to yell back if you knew the situation was right, and everybody on the team would laugh,” recalled Simms. “It was his way of sending a message to the whole team through players and he was great at that. He was the greatest manipulator of people I’ve ever been around in my life.”
Simms led the Giants to a 39-20 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI and recalled the 1986 NFC Championship Game in the wind at Giants Stadium — a 17-0 win over Washington.
“Washington Redskins at the time made a huge mistake. We kicked the field goal on our first drive, it was third-and-long, we had a penalty, and we had to kick another field goal. Joe Gibbs accepted it to take us out of field goal range, he thought. Well, the next play I threw it down the middle for a huge gain, got a first down and we scored. Literally, that was the game. It was over in the first quarter,” he said.
Simms is currently a studio analyst for CBS Sports.