Ernie Sims knew that coming to Philadelphia would afford him new opportunities. After all, Detroit didn’t win many games during Sims’ four seasons there. As a result, the fifth-year veteran will make his first appearance on Monday Night Football this week when the Eagles visit the Redskins.
“It’s going to be really special for me,” Sims said. “I’m just going to soak it all in and at the end of the day I’m just going to have the best game I can and make plays left and right and try to help my team out the best I can.”
It’s not as if the weakside linebacker has never played in front of a national audience. Sims played on Thanksgiving each of his four seasons in Detroit, but that wasn’t quite the same. The Lions played in those games due to tradition, while Monday night games are earmarked for the best teams and the best rivalries. The Lions’ 12-52 record from 2006 through 2009 didn’t exactly make them a hot commodity when scheduling prime time games.
So as soon as Sims wound up in Philadelphia, he took a look at the schedule and this one stood out.
“I saw that we were playing Monday night games and Thursday night games and it’s something that I haven’t been a part of since I’ve been in the league,” said Sims. “It’s a blessing and I’m going to take advantage of it and just have fun.”
It’s been a long time in the making, although playing on Monday Night Football hasn’t always been a goal of Sims’. As it turns out, the native of Tallahassee, Florida was much more interested in the college game growing up.
“When I was a little kid I really didn’t watch NFL football like that to be honest with you, I was really just all Florida State,” Sims said. “When I got into the college level I didn’t really watch NFL football, I was too busy being a college student-athlete.”
Then, after being drafted by the Lions, Sims began to watch Monday Night Football every week. Through four years though, he never got to find out what it felt like to be on that prime-time stage.
“It was just wishing you could play on Monday Night Football, that’s just the feeling I had,” said Sims. “Now that that day has come, I get the chance to play on Monday Night Football, I’m going to make the best out of it.”
The linebacker keeps hearing about the speed of Monday night games. The talk is that the speed increases from Sunday afternoon to Sunday night, and even more from Sunday night to Monday night. Sims isn’t buying it.
“From what I’ve noticed, everything is still fast,” Sims said. “I’m just going to go out there and just play as fast as I can like I always do.”
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