Phil Simms is headed to the studio.
A fixture as a game analyst at CBS for two decades, Simms will join “The NFL Today” on the network for the coming season.
Simms was recently replaced as CBS’s top game analyst by Tony Romo after Romo, the longtime Cowboys quarterback, retired. Simms had been discussing the possibility of moving to “The NFL Today” with CBS Sports President Sean McManus for several years. Simms has experience in a similar setting from his work on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL.”
Simms said that McManus had expressed an interest in having him in the studio but that Simms had held off initially.
“I love doing the games, meeting during the week with coaches and players, getting the inside info,” Simms said. “It is the best.”
He added, “But I also thought that I will work in New York and watch all the games instead of prepping for two teams, and will have all week to study the league, and that really intrigued me.
“There are a lot of things I don’t get to say on games I have a chance to say now. There are a lot of things I would like to talk about that I never would have talked about during games.”
Simms joins Boomer Esiason, Bill Cowher, Bart Scott and James Brown as part of the program. He said that he was more than comfortable with being part of that lineup and that he was looking forward to some pointed conversations among the group.
“James and I get along really well,” he said, adding with a laugh, “On ‘Inside the NFL,’ we’re always playing footsie because I want him to send it back to me so I can challenge something someone said, or make a comment.”
He continued: “Boomer and I have known each other for years, and we do not have thin skins, so we can say anything with each other. Of course, Coach Cowher, well, he’s the coach, and we are going to disagree a lot because we were players and he was a coach.”
McManus is certain that will be the case. CBS was criticized over the Romo announcement, which seemed to have left Simms in the cold. But McManus said he believed that Simms, a former quarterback who was part of two Super Bowl-winning teams with the Giants, was entering a new and productive phase of his broadcasting career.
“When the news hit that Tony Gonzalez would not be back on the show, this seemed logical,” McManus said. “We had a number of discussions about it, and I was excited about it, and he was excited.”
He added: “This will be good for viewers. Anyone who has watched just 30 seconds of ‘Inside The NFL’ will know that. One of the things I like best, Phil has strong opinions, but he has a way of doing it in a very respectful way. And you see the interaction they have…