Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ernie Sims passes eyeball test for a safety, not a linebacker

There have been enough Ernie Sims speed stories to accept  the Eagles' assessment of him as a football player who plays very fast.
I don't doubt Sims ran a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash at Florida State. Or that he could run in the high 4.2's if he lost a few pounds. Sims said it's in the family genes. His mother was a prolific sprinter.
What I wonder about after shaking hands with Sims is if he's big enough to be an everydown linebacker. Even with a bulky upper body, I see him getting blown up by blockers, not the other way around. If Sims is on the field, I'm running at him, not away from him.
Sims himself concedes he's "maybe 6-foot," and plays at 225 pounds, not 230. He also said NFL scouts worked him in safety drills.
But I'll give the Eagles the benefit of doubt, at least now.
If Sims can't play on run downs, he's still fast and physical enough to function in the nickel and dime packages. With his speed, he can cover wide receivers in the slot, not just running backs and tight ends. And that's more versatility than the Eagles had last year.


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