September 17 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford:
“Motivation is not a problem for Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims. He can whip himself into a dangerous, speeding projectile during any given practice for the slightest of reason. It doesn’t take much.
In training camp, Sims had difficulty sorting out the difference between the contact and the noncontact drills, or maybe he just didn’t care much for the latter. So, to keep the confusion to a minimum, he simply hit people as hard as he could on every play and apologized later. He had to do a bunch of apologizing.
Now it is the regular season and Sims doesn’t have to be sorry for his enthusiasm, at least not on Sundays. He can hit the opponents as hard as helikes when he catches them, which was only four times in the opener against the Packers. Still, the season is young.
This Sunday, when the team bus rolls up to Ford Field in Detroit, Sims won’t have to invent his motivation for the afternoon. In fact, Sims might not need the team bus to get from the team hotel to the stadium. He might just camp out and wait for the game.
The Detroit Lions traded Sims away – the Detroit Lions! – and there is a part of Ernie Sims that would like to make his former organization regret that decision.
“Oh, yeah. There’s a part of me. All part of me wants to prove them wrong,” Sims said after practice this week. “Who wouldn’t? They traded me for whatever reason, and my competitive nature is that I want to prove them wrong.”
It wasn’t like being dismissed from a perennial contender that must choose among all the talented players on the roster and must discard one or two. The Detroit Lions were last in overall defense in 2009, ranked 32d out of the 32 teams. You get traded away under those circumstances and it’s as if the team is screaming, “Here’s the problem. Man, we’ve got to get rid of this guy.”
That’s not the sort of thing that sits well with Sims. He drew his eyebrows together and narrowed his eyes when it was brought up to him. Sunday cannot come soon enough.
“Me being an emotional player, I can’t hide that,” Sims said. “But I think in the end, I’ll calm down and make plays. That’s how it’s going to be.”
That was also the plan when the Lions took Sims out of Florida State with the ninth overall pick in the 2006 draft. He made his plays for three consecutive seasons of 16 starts, compiling 456 tackles in that time. Last season, he missed five games with shoulder and hamstring injuries, and his numbers went down. And that was that, after all he had gone through with the team. The Lions traded him to the Eagles three days before the 2010 draft.”
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