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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Simms must stay upright



Pt_245646_fitt_simms The key to the Bucs 2006 season is keeping Chris Simms healthy. Believe me, their quarterback position is a house of cards.

Remember how sparingly Jon Gruden used running back Cadillac Williams in the preseason as a rookie last year? Expect to see that treatment with Simms.

For the first time since his days at Texas, Simms will begin training camp as a starting quarterback. He has a better understanding of the offense, which should help get the ball out of his hand faster. Beyond that, he just needs to learn how to throw the football away and avoid big hits.

How do quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Brett Favre go wire-to-wire without getting hurt?

"The first thing is probably a little bit of luck,'' Simms said. "After that, I think it's just knowing how to play the game. Hey, it's no joke that the three best quarterbacks in the NFL don't seem to get hurt. They don't hold onto the ball and take sacks, they don't take the extra hits. When there's nothing there, they do a good job of throwing it out of bounds or just getting the ball out of their hand and not taking the hit. That's big.

"It's a double-edged sword, because whether it comes to scrambling out of the pocket or you want to hold the ball for an extra second in the pocket, waiting for maybe a (Joey) Galloway or (Mike) Clayton to get open, sometimes you just can't go for the glory every play. You've just got to play it smart and live to play another down.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:42pm]


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