By: Kayla Mortellaro
TEMPE, Ariz.—- Arizona Cardinals quarterback Phillip Sims is the subject of this edition of the Cards Camp Spotlight on The Blitz with Rich Gray heard weekdays at 2:15 p.m.
Phillip Sims joined the Cardinals in 2015 after impressing the coaching staff on a try out basis at rookie mini-camp.
Sims played his college football at Alabama, Virginia, and Winston-Salem State. Sims backed up AJ McCarron at Alabama in 2011 before transferring to Virginia. He played one season with the Cavaliers before finally settling at Winston-Salem State.
During his two years at Winston-Salem State, Sims split time with quarterback Rudy Johnson. Splitting time did not slow Sims down as he tossed 15 touchdowns, had four interceptions, and completed 118-of-198 passes for 1,560 yards.
Sims notoriously made headlines after getting a physical exam by Cardinals team doctors, and it was determined he has very bad vision. In one eye, Sims has 20/50 vision and in the other, he has 20/100. Sims previously knew he did not have perfect vision, needing glasses to drive and see things at a distance, but he did not realize just how bad his eye sight is.
It was suggested that Sims get corrective lenses to help with his vision. And it was suggested he do it after OTA’s and before training camp to allow his eyes time to get adjusted to how he would see things. Except he did not get them. He elected to not have surgery and elected not to get the contact lenses.
Despite his vision issues, he has impressed head coach Bruce Arians and is in competition with Logan Thomas for the third-string quarterback spot.
“I don’t think I need much motivation to go earn the job,” Sims said at training camp. “It speaks for itself. It’s work. We’re trying to earn a job. You’re trying to make a living, you’re trying to take care of your family, trying to take care of yourself.”
Sims has remained humble and confident throughout training camp. And it has led him to have a positive attitude about the whole process.
“You can’t play scared,” Sims said. “You play scared, you get hurt, and you make mistakes. Let it all hang out, man. Have fun and enjoy the moment. Just play. If that means that me throwing it around, I’m going to throw it around. If that means me handing it off 10 times in a row, I hand it off 10 times in a row. It really doesn’t matter to me. I’m trying to win football games. Trying to get a job. Whatever the coaches ask of me, I’ll do. But I do like slinging it around a bit.”
Sims seemingly looked better than Thomas in both preseason games, especially in game two against the Chargers. Sims was 8-of-13 for 82 yards with zero touchdowns and interceptions. Thomas went 0-for-4 with no touchdowns and interceptions. The battle between the two quarterbacks is likely going to come down to game four of the preseason to determine who wins the third quarterback role.
For Sims, though, he is shutting out the magnitude of the situation, and it is all about taking the game as it comes to him to minimize his mistakes.
“It slowed down a tad bit, you still got bullets flying all over the place,” Sims said. “You just got to find a way to settle in and be smart with the football. That’s the most important thing. You can’t win games by turning the football over. Take care of the football and put drives together. You don’t have to go down and score in two or three plays. Control the clock and make smart decisions and put points on the board.”
Sims understands what it takes to be successful, and he is making the most of his opportunities. And by the time roster cuts are made September 1, Sims might just find himself on the Cardinals roster backing up Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton.
The Blitz with Rich Gray can be heard weekdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. with the Cards Camp Spotlight every day at 2:15 p.m.