How does this team compare
athletically to some of the great teams you coached at
Simms: It's about the same. I look at it after all those years, and probably Ohio State is the only place I've been that I could probably say when we step on the field we've got more talent than everybody else. Everywhere else I've been, hasn't been like that. There's plenty of talent here. On the defensive side you look at it and they are losing seven guys from last year, but there's still some talent here. We've got to get the guys that have been playing, talents' ready. And I always figured if you get the talent experience, then you are going to be all right. We just have to get some of these guys experience and we will be fine.
How big of an adjustment is it for you to learn the system as a new coach?
Simms: I've been on both sides of the ball. I haven't been on the defensive side in six, seven years. I just thank Coach McCarney for giving me the opportunity to come back on the defensive side. Not many coaches would have. The transition with Coach Skladany and the rest of the defensive staff has really helped me out in the first couple of weeks and they are still helping me out. I think it has been good. They have taught me well, real fast. We're getting it.
Simms: What we see is some talent there. Again, we've got guys who haven't played. We can't be in any practice or game situations that what we can provide. We can't be in it enough, because all of those guys need those reps. As many times as we can play football, those guys are going to get more experience and get better. They've got talent; we just got to get a little more experience.
Talk about Adam Carper's situation this spring and how he is doing?
Simms: He's doing fine. He's been a guy that has played a little so he knows what's going on and is in the right spot for the most part. He's my guy with the graduation cap on; he's my scholar back there. He knows where to be and it certainly helps. But he's going to have to play a couple different spots because he can. And that's the good thing about it. We need a guy like him.
How good of line backing corps could this be?
Simms: Well, I certainly think it can be the strength of the defense. We've got some guys that run well, are strong, they'll hit you, and they have athletic ability and shoot-- all things you would want from a guy. You say, I want to recruit this guy-- they have all that. So we just have to get them reps.
Do you have a preference coaching offense or defense?
Simms: It's kind of funny, but when I'm on offense, I like offense. When I'm on defense, I like defense. I just like coaching. And like I said, I'll coach anything. If I don't know it, I'll learn it. Coaching is coaching --I just love it.
Since you've coached Running back,
how does this group compare to some you've coached? (Simms coached RBs at
Simms: I think Stevie [Hicks] is having a tremendous spring. I see him moving his feet well, he's quick, and he's tough and he's a hard runner. There aren't too many in the Big 12 better than him. I think we've got something special there. With the other guy [Harris] he's done some good things. He's still young, so he's got a little growing up to do, but he's certainly got some talent.
What do you look for in the last few practices out of your linebackers?
Simms: Just improvement everyday. We're so young, so if they just come out everyday and improve a little bit we'll be fine.