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Bucs' GM calls Simms' comments a PR stunt

TAMPA — General manager Bruce Allen was critical Friday of quarterback Chris Simms' decision to go public with his deteriorating relationship with the Bucs.

"I think his advisers pulled a PR stunt," Allen said. "I don't think it portrays Chris well. That's not the Chris I've talked to on the phone. But I can't worry about that. We have too many players who are trying to help this team win and those are the players we're going to focus on."

Simms told the Times on Monday that he has asked to be traded or released because coach Jon Gruden has made it known he is not a part of the team's plans for 2008.

Asked about their relationship at a Greater Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce event on Friday, Gruden said: "I like Chris Simms. I don't necessarily agree with everything he said. But I'm going to coach the quarterbacks who are here. I am really excited about the guys who are here. I wish Chris and his situation well. But that's the last I'll address it. He made his statements and unfortunately that's all I can say. I like Jeff Garcia and I prefer talking about him, Brian Griese and Luke McCown at this point."

But there perhaps is some chance Simms, entering his sixth season out of Texas, may get his wish. Allen backed off a previous statement of his intent to take five quarterbacks to training camp, saying injuries impacting the roster at other positions will affect how many players are kept at certain positions. He said his original statement was made under the assumption the NFL would expand training camp rosters, which ultimately didn't happen.

The Bucs have five quarterbacks and Simms, 27, would likely be the first to go if necessary.

Simms was injured in a Sept. 24, 2006, game and had a splenectomy. He signed a two-year, $7-million contract in December 2006 but spent most of 2007 on injured reserve. He has not participated in the team's offseason workout program but said Monday he might attend mandatory minicamp next week.

TAMPA — GM Bruce Allen was critical Friday of quarterback Chris Simms for going public about his deteriorating relationship with the Bucs.

"I think his advisers pulled a PR stunt," Allen said. "I don't think it portrays Chris well. That's not the Chris I've talked to on the phone. But I can't worry about that. We have too many players who are trying to help this team win, and those are the players we're going to focus on."

Simms told the St. Petersburg Times on Monday that he has asked to be traded or released because coach Jon Gruden has made it known he is not part of the team's plans for this season.

Asked about their relationship during a Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce event Friday, Gruden said: "I like Chris Simms. I don't necessarily agree with everything he said. But I'm going to coach the quarterbacks who are here. I am really excited about the guys who are here. I wish Chris and his situation well. But that's the last I'll address it."

There perhaps is some chance that Simms, entering his sixth season, could get his wish.

Allen backed off a previous statement that he intended to take five quarterbacks to training camp, saying injuries affecting other positions will affect how many players are kept at certain ones. He said his original statement was made assuming the NFL would expand training camp rosters; that didn't happen.

The Bucs have five quarterbacks, and Simms, 27, would likely be the first to go if necessary.

Simms was injured in a game Sept. 24, 2006, and had a splenectomy. He signed a two-year, $7-million contract in December 2006 but spent most of 2007 on injured reserve.

He has not participated in the team's offseason workout program but said Monday he might attend mandatory minicamp next week.

Bucs' GM calls Simms' comments a PR stunt 06/13/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 5:06pm]
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