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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Simms 'nervous' in first camp workout



Beleaguered quarterback Chris Simms returned to the practice field for the first time in nearly a year Saturday and admitted he squeezed the football a little too tightly at times.

"My biggest issues was just conquering nerves today,'' Simms said. "I told one guy, it was as nervous as I've been since maybe my first start in Texas-Oklahoma.

"It started right away when we started throwing routes against air," Simms said. "Like I said, being up in New Jersey or around here just throwing to a guy who's standing where he's supposed to be. Then you drop back and you see Ike Hilliard or Mike Clayton coming out of the cut. I choked a few times when I saw them coming out, but for the most part, I got through it.''

Simms, 27, has asked to be traded or released and last month said he couldn't work with coach Jon Gruden.

But he met with Gruden Friday night and smoothed things over a bit, although he admitted the situation was "awkward."

"He just came in and said, 'Nice to see you again. Good to have you back. Nice haircut,' " Simms said of Gruden. "And he told us he broke 80 in a golf game, so he was excited about that.

"I'm not going to lie. It was a little uncomfortable. But after we got over that initial seeing each other and talking. We just both realized we're here to get better and we'll see where the future takes us.''

Simms said he is not backing down from his earlier statements but is trying to do the best to move forward. He missed some easy throws early to Warrick Dunn but settled down to complete a few passes over the middle during team drills.

"I was between a rock and a hard place,'' Simms said. "I had to let my side be known, why I wasn't showing up, and that's all there really was to it.

"I'm sure there's people that have got their eye on the situation. I am worried about the rest of the league and what they think. But at the same time, I've got to conquer some of my own demons first.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:05pm]


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