Chris Simms criticized for suggesting teams ‘go head-hunting’ on Jalen Hurts
The Philadelphia Eagles have mastered a variation of the quarterback sneak that defenses have found virtually impossible to stop. NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms faced some serious backlash this week over the idea he proposed for discouraging it.
During Wednesday’s episode of “PFT Live,” Simms said the way he would try to stop the so-called “tush push” play is to try to injure the quarterback.
Chris Simms on the #Eagles Brotherly Shove/QB Sneak: “If I was a Defensive Coach, I’d be going ‘Go headhunting on the QB here. Go crazy. Try to kill the QB. That’s what I’d do. I don’t mean it like that. Well, I don’t mean kill, but make him pay, make him think twice about it.” pic.twitter.com/aJhmehlNFR
— Eagles Nation (@PHLEaglesNation) September 27, 2023
“If I was a defensive coach, I’d be (telling my players to) go head-hunting on the quarterback here,” Simms said. “Go ahead, let him have it. Dive over, go crazy. Try to kill the quarterback. That’s what I would do.”
Co-host Mike Florio immediately realized how bad Simms’ suggestion sounded, so he tried to step in and help. Simms then attempted to clarify.
“You know I don’t mean kill, but make him pay. Make him think twice about doing it,” Simms said.
Simms chose his words poorly. His overall message was one that is not uncommon in football and certainly one that is coached, whether the NFL likes to admit it or not. Anytime a quarterback tries to run with the ball, the goal for a defender is to deliver a hard, clean hit to make the QB think twice about doing it again. That is all Simms was trying to say, but it is never a wise idea to call it “head-hunting.”
Hurts obviously caught wind of the comments. When asked on Wednesday about the argument that the “tush push” play should be banned, he seemed to allude to what Simms said.
“I have no thoughts on it,” Hurts replied, via Pro Football Talk. “We’re the only people that’s doing it as well as we are. You know, (I) heard a guy wanted me hurt for it, too.”
Hurts and the Eagles converted 36 of their 40 quarterback sneak attempts last season. They are off to a similar start this year. Opposing defenses know the play is coming, but they still can’t stop it. The NFL looked into banning the play, but the Eagles can use it for at least another season.
Simms has also been surprisingly critical of Hurts in the past, which is another reason his comments about the sneak play got so much attention.