Born: August 29, 1980
Town: Ridgewood, New Jersey
Christopher David Simms was born August 29, 1980 in Franklin Lakes. His father, Phil, was the starting quarterback for the Giants. Chris competed in a number of youth sports and was a standout on the basketball court. But there was little question that he would end up as a football quarterback. At Ramapo High, he earned all-state recognition as a junior and senior, and was named National Offensive Player of the Year in 1998.
The object of intense recruiting, Chris initially committed to Tennessee, but changed his mind and headed for the University of Texas, a perennial Top 20 program. He stepped into the starting QB role as a sophomore late in the year when Major Applewhite suffered a knee injury. Chris threw for 383 yards in a win over Texas A&M and, in the Holiday Bowl, appeared to have Oregon beaten on the final drive. Unfortunately, his receivers could not hold onto a couple of scoring passes, and the Longhorns lost 35–30.
Chris’s junior season saw him nail down the starter’s role. He got the team to the Big 12 Championship game with a chance to advance to the BCS Championship Game. However, he threw three interceptions and lost a fumble, and was replaced by Applewhite in the second half after injuring his finger. The Longhorns lost to Colorado 39–37. Chris recovered to have a solid senior year. Throwing to talented wideout Roy Williams, he threw for over 3,000 yards and Texas rose to #3 in the rankings before a loss to Texas Tech. That took them out of the national championship picture. In his final game as a collegian, Chris led his team to victory in the Cotton Bowl over LSU. His final record as a starter was 26–6.
Chris was taken late in the third round of the 2003 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He did not see action until his second year in the league, when the Bucs started the year 0–4 and starter Brad Johnson was benched. Chris got the start but injured his shoulder and Brian Griese seized the starting job. Chris recovered in 2005 to become the team’s starter and led Tampa Bay to the playoffs. In 11 games, he threw for 2,035 yards, 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. The Bucs lost to Washington 17–10.
Chris’s career took a turn for the worst in 2006 when he ruptured his spleen in a game against the Panthers. The injury was life-threatening and although he recovered, he was never the same player. He was released after the 2007 season and played as a backup for the Titans in 2008 and Broncos in 2009 before retiring in 2010. Since then, he has ried his hand at coaching and broadcasting. In 2013, his younger (by 8 years) brother Matt played three games at quarterback for the Jets.