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NFLN postgame analysts critique Phil Simms’ over-the-top praise of Blaine Gabbert

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From the pregame to the in-game to the garbage-time-at-the-end-of-the-game, multiple CBS broadcasters were working overtime on Thursday night to push the apparently party line regarding the 49ers’ refusal to replace Blaine Gabbert with Colin Kaepernick.

The effort included knocking down Kaepernick — and also propping up Blaine Gabbert. It became conspicuous toward the end of the game, when Phil Simms offered up an over-the-top assessment of Gabbert.

“I got no feeling — I haven’t in anything I’ve read, watched, watching practice, talking to the players, talking to the coach — there’s nothing that’s given me a hint that anywhere close with that quarterback change could happen with the San Francisco 49ers,” Simms said on the broadcast. “That’s just my opinion. . . . I saw Blaine Gabbert taking all the reps, doing all the practice. A lot of encouraging words about him as a teammate, a player. Look, come on, I don’t want to hear anybody talk — this guy’s got talent. You see that on the field. Running, got a good arm. Yeah, he missed some passes tonight. It’s not a game of perfection.”

The comments from Simms hardly went unnoticed. They were heard specifically by the analysts at NFL Network, who are conjoined with CBS for the first half of the Thursday Night Football schedule.

Michael Irvin of NFLN had this to say: “[D]id anyone else feel kind of weird the way Phil Simms was talking about Blaine Gabbert, as we’re watching some of these passes? You know, he was talking about him like this guy was the next coming of Tom Brady or somebody.”

Added Marshall Faulk: “He was talking about Blaine Gabbert like he was his relative.”

Actually, Simms talked about Gabbert better than Simms has publicly talked about any relative; he’s had multiple sons in the NFL, and the closest Simms ever has come to defending a relative happened 11 years ago, when Young explained away the struggles of Chris Simms by suggesting that he grew up in a “laissez-faire” atmosphere.

Simms bristled at the remark, and not because it represented a horribly inaccurate application of the term. For now, the quarterback situation in San Francisco is hardly unfolding in a laissez-faire manner; Simms and other intended or accidental surrogates are doing whatever they can to help the team justify its stubborn refusal to make a change at the most important position on the field.

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70 Responses to “NFLN postgame analysts critique Phil Simms’ over-the-top praise of Blaine Gabbert”
  1. bmack1224 says: Oct 7, 2016 10:35 AM

    Nothing Is more Depressing then listening to Phill Simms on Thursday nights that’s why I watch the game on Mute. Unfortunately for me My Cowboys Play the Bengals this weekend and it’s a CBS game. FML I’m be filling my body up with Remy Martin for this.

  2. intrafinesse says: Oct 7, 2016 10:35 AM

    Watching Gabbert you would assume he was the backup, and a bad one too.
    What’s the point of starting him? I’d rather try some other bust or backup. If it wasn’t for his terrible attitude I’d rather try Ryan mallet.
    Gabbert was awful.

  3. kurdishpats1 says: Oct 7, 2016 10:36 AM

    People still watch TNF?


  4. stealthjunk says: Oct 7, 2016 10:36 AM

    Phil Simms has been a terrible announcer for a long time now. There was nothing particularly remarkable about these comments on Gabbert compared to his other material over the years.

  5. FlashPatterson says: Oct 7, 2016 10:38 AM

    Simms should be fired. Either he didn’t get the memo, or he just didn’t care. It’s obvious that Kapernick playing is better for the media. He was supposed to bury Gabbert so that the cash cow could shine. Simms may have set back the media agenda by over a week.

  6. agent7x6 says: Oct 7, 2016 10:43 AM

    There is no reason to split hairs; Phil Simms is a horrible football announcer.

  7. egbrady says: Oct 7, 2016 10:47 AM

    Simms was a great QB but an annoying, over-opinionated announcer. Thanks for the exact quotes showing how he mangles his words.

  8. dtroxallday says: Oct 7, 2016 10:48 AM

    Been taking lessons from the John Gruden School of Kiss-Arse.

  9. factschecker says: Oct 7, 2016 10:50 AM

    Make no mistake Phil Sims is no John Madden. If they upgraded that booth, I think it would be meet with great celebration. Then again that depends on who you’d replace him with?

    You have to be smart, credible, entertaining and preferably a bit funny too. More than anything you have to be honest.
    You can’t insult me by telling me how great Blaine Gabbert is and expect me to watch.

    Perhaps the best thing about Madden and Summerall was their honesty. If a game or player stunk/stinks, then the game or player stunk/stinks. Don’t lie to me in effort to prevent me from changing the channel. I’m intelligent enough to know when I’m being BS’ed. And being BS’ed makes me change the channel.

    Prevent broadcasting (as in trying to prevent me from changing the channel) prevents me from watching.
    Be honest instead of being a corporate shill. If i want to watch a bunch of corporate shills in suits lying to me I’ll watch the presidential debates instead.

  10. tommymomoney says: Oct 7, 2016 10:54 AM

    For the life of me I can’t figure out why CBS thinks this guy deserves to be in the booth with Jim Nantz. They’ve got several other color guys on their roster who would run laps around Simms. Give me Rich Gannon any day over Phil Simms.

  11. I_Just_Like_Typing_Comments_That_Wont_Get_Published says: Oct 7, 2016 10:55 AM

    Is this shocking to anyone? America used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. But its 2016. Now its the land of people that cant make it through the day without finding something that offends them, and experiencing debilitating mental anguish if someone dares to have a different opinion…

  12. pioniere says: Oct 7, 2016 10:55 AM

    Simms is probably the worst analyst on any network. With him and Nantz doing the Thursday night games, it makes it even easier not to watch.

  13. maust1013 says: Oct 7, 2016 10:57 AM

    Outside of Cards & Niners fans it’s surprising anyone watched that game. That anyone stuck around to here any post game critique is beyond any understanding

  14. marmac2768 says: Oct 7, 2016 10:58 AM

    The entire WORLD, particularly the media world, is screaming for Kaepernick to play!! It’s their agenda and Simms is not toeing the line. Gabbert was anything but good last night, but did you see his OL help him? I saw him on his butt several times with SEVEN sacks!! I saw his receivers just trot out into the pattern and not get open for Gabbert to throw to. I don’t see Kaepernick helping this team win. I see an opportunity for some defensive players to “tee off” on him because of his idiocy with the anthem.

  15. chrisk61 says: Oct 7, 2016 11:01 AM

    who cares. all involved parties — sims, kelly, gabbert and kaepernick — suck.

  16. thermalito says: Oct 7, 2016 11:02 AM

    So according to the media who’s been cheering on Kaepernick’s ugly protest, you are not only not allowed to criticize Kaepernick but you can’t saying anything nice about Gabbert either.

  17. followme2boston says: Oct 7, 2016 11:03 AM

    I’m in the middle of a hurricane in Central Florida and could not watch TV last night. I imagine it went something like this though last night, gimmicky offense scored a couple of early points and even took lead for awhile, then largely due to defense being on the field the entire game and almost no offensive adjustments Cardinals came back and ended up winning big.

    How did I do?

    Chip Kelly will be coaching at South Western Fresno State school of Cosmetology by the time he is done trashing whatever franchises are silly enough to employ him.

  18. All-American Voltron says: Oct 7, 2016 11:04 AM

    It’s no secret that Phil Simms has major issues with Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protests which explains why he’s going out of his way to celebrate Blaine Gabbert keeping the starting position.

    that being said, analysts and annoucners are supposed to be objective and he shouldn’t be interjecting his personal wishes so obviously.

  19. flannlv says: Oct 7, 2016 11:08 AM

    Did Dilfer forward the talking points he received from Balke to Simms for use during the broadcast?

  20. jason9696 says: Oct 7, 2016 11:08 AM

    How does Phil Simms even have a job on TV? He was a very good QB and even won a Super Bowl but the guy doesn’t have the personality to be on TV. Is his wife one of the big wigs of CBS or am I missing something here?

  21. Ugadogs21 says: Oct 7, 2016 11:09 AM

    Simm is horrible…They should do open mic night anytime he’s broadcasting, we might hear an intelligent analysis. He described Stanton’s td pass to Fitzgerald in the right corner as perfectly thrown even though it was clear that all the db had to do was turn around to catch the ball.

  22. scrp2 says: Oct 7, 2016 11:10 AM

    Phil Simms broadcasts are now approaching epic ridiculous level to where it can be considered comedy. Kind of like Dan Dierdorf when he was at MNF and locked in to decade long contracts. Similar to Bill Walton’s NBA broadcasts. Just so many ridiculous head scratching comments you just throw your hands up and laugh and say WTF?

  23. chingustight says: Oct 7, 2016 11:11 AM

    you same people blasting sims for praising gabberts crappy play are the same people blasting tim tebow for winning games with his crappy play, so which is it? thats right, when it aligns with your beliefs, just checking…..

  24. Della Street says: Oct 7, 2016 11:35 AM

    All-American Voltron says:
    Oct 7, 2016 11:04 AM
    It’s no secret that Phil Simms has major issues with Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protests which explains why he’s going out of his way to celebrate Blaine Gabbert keeping the starting position.

    that being said, analysts and annoucners are supposed to be objective and he shouldn’t be interjecting his personal wishes so obviously.


    OBJECTIVE? Like Chris Collinsworth was with Brady during SB49? Right…

  25. captainwhodat says: Oct 7, 2016 11:36 AM

    America: the land of the peter principle…we raise people to their level of incompetence and then wonder why they fail…lol…

  26. stoneydog1000 says: Oct 7, 2016 11:36 AM

    How do they keep Gabbert and Ponder and then try to sneak Jeff Driskel through waivers? Driskel is a rookie with an upside. Now, the Bengals have him.

  27. willycents says: Oct 7, 2016 11:37 AM

    There are two reasons the media is so in favor of Kaep starting:
    #1: His protest method of protest against police brutality against African-Americans.
    #2: His skin color.
    Before all the td’s, think about it. What is the media narrative right now? Oppressed because of race. An election year where they need to forward their agenda. As to the second point, name one black qb who the media has not been licking their jocks about how they are going to “change the position” in the NFL. RGIII, Vick, Kaep, etc.

  28. mykelane says: Oct 7, 2016 11:38 AM

    After I read this, I remembered this morning’s radio on 97.5 in Philly where Baldinger QUICKLY dismissed any talk about Kap playing. He was so tired of the hearing the guy, seeing images of him in the sideline, saying he’s still not healthy..etc.. I sensed genuine anger in his voice when the topic of Kap playing came up. It seemed odd to me considering how funny eagles fans finds it that Kelly continues to suck and wants to pour gas in the dumpster fire.

  29. meximyke says: Oct 7, 2016 11:39 AM

    First of all I never saw coke head Irvin or Faulk play QB. They have their agenda, and we all know what it is and why!! Irvin should of been fired many years ago, he is terrible!! Faulk, I don’t know what is up his ass? Gabbert is the choice, not Kraperneck, PERIOD! When they both become head coaches, they can do as they please! But don’t tell a coach how to run the team!

  30. bleedgreenphilly says: Oct 7, 2016 11:41 AM

    I don’t like Phil Simms as a commentator but both Irvin and Faulk are being hypocrites. Like Irvin doesn’t over hype WR’s or Faulk over hyping RB’s. They are both guilty of the same thing, many times over. And as bad as Phil Simms is, they would both be much worse in the booth.

  31. In Teddy We Trust says: Oct 7, 2016 11:42 AM

    Gabbert may be terrible but there isn’t anyone on the roster who is better. You think 180-pound Colin Kaepernick should be starting just because he figured out a way to draw attention to himself such that it would be awkward for the team to cut him? He isn’t an upgrade, he’s just a name.

  32. nflcombineresults says: Oct 7, 2016 11:43 AM

    He also kept blaming Stanton for drops. Was awful announcing…

  33. thermanmerman99 says: Oct 7, 2016 11:43 AM

    Yet if crapernick was in there playing just as badly and Simms was praising him in the same way, these racists Irvin and faulk would be praising Simms and would call anybody a racist if they said otherwise. Easy to see the agenda like usual.

  34. nhpats says: Oct 7, 2016 11:49 AM

    C’mon…..Simms isn’t nearly as bad as the fools they have on NFL network. Michael Irvin is barely coherent and Marshall Faulk is still seething that the Patriots manhandled him and ended his self-proclaimed dynasty before it got started!

  35. rcali says: Oct 7, 2016 11:49 AM

    Wasn’t in the mood for protests. Caught up on the DVR. Drank non-NFL sponsored beverages.

  36. sportoficionado says: Oct 7, 2016 11:50 AM

    you really cannot watch Gabbert play, he is just syphilitic babushka bad

  37. boisebob says: Oct 7, 2016 11:52 AM

    Kelly has me believing that he is not a talent guru.

  38. granadafan says: Oct 7, 2016 11:55 AM

    Phil Simms has nothing on Jon Gruden for over-the-top gushing about QBs and other players.

  39. richc111 says: Oct 7, 2016 11:55 AM

    Maybe Simm’s was just reacting to the network telling him he has to promote Kapernick because of the social issues what it represents and that saving this country from racism rests on Phils shoulder. You know instead of just calling a football game. Honestly could you see a meeting before the game and someone telling him that he must promote the thought of a QB change. If you think something like that couldn’t happen you would be wrong. I am sure it happens just like every game you have to show players kneeling , even if the national anthem was not part of the broadcast. Like last night. The only part covered was a few players kneeling, and also tell me just like many had said that this is NOT a distraction. It is a huge distraction Admit it! I am glad it isn’t my team having this issue. We need to win games not change the world.

  40. blynch67 says: Oct 7, 2016 11:56 AM

    I loved Phil when he was our SB winning QB. But I’ve never liked him as a TV guy. He shouldn’t be there, plain and simple.

  41. dragonfly99 says: Oct 7, 2016 11:59 AM

    That’s funny. They must have never listened to Jon Gruden’s constant babbling.

  42. thermalito says: Oct 7, 2016 11:59 AM

    In Gabbert’s defense, he’s been a stand up guy, kept his mouth shut and worked to the best of his ability. Thats all you can ask for from any player. Contrast that with Santa Clara’s throwing running back and his foul attitude, divisive locker room presence and lack of dedication to the sport and its not hard to see why Krapperdik has been on the bench all year. If Santa Clara had any sense they’d have long since cut him. Gabbert is a severely limited player but this is a tough situation all the way around. Santa Clara is a frightfully dysfunctional team and organization running a gimmick offense that doesn’t really work at the NFL level.

  43. zoxitic says: Oct 7, 2016 11:59 AM

    I thought it was satire.

  44. mmack66 says: Oct 7, 2016 12:00 PM

    chingustight says:
    Oct 7, 2016 11:11 AM

    you same people blasting sims for praising gabberts crappy play are the same people blasting tim tebow for winning games with his crappy play, so which is it? thats right, when it aligns with your beliefs, just checking…..

    If Gabbert was winning, despite his crappy play, then no one would care what Phil Simms had to say about him, but he isn’t, so they do.

    Santa Clara is a disaster, regardless of which quarterback they go with, so none of it really matters.

  45. sgrvn329 says: Oct 7, 2016 12:00 PM

    I understand you not agreeing with Colin Kaepernick’s stance on not standing during the National Anthem because that’s your choice. But as a professionals assessing the performance of these players and to be so negative toward Colin shows your your assessment of him is clouded. When Blaine Gabbert is clearly bad with his stats baring record to his dysfunction at QB. Colin Kaepernick regression was because the team’s talent regressed and because of injury. The 49ers went from a playoff team with talent a every position to castaways thanks to GM Balke. Bill Cowher, Phil Simms, Mike Ditka and Dilfer are allowing the their personal feeling get in the way of professionalism.

  46. kingpel says: Oct 7, 2016 12:01 PM

    I thought I read that Kaepernick just wasn’t physically ready to play after losing a lot of weight. I’m confident that he will play when the time is right.

  47. hgamatt says: Oct 7, 2016 12:03 PM

    “I hope he doesn’t throw another interception here at the end to make any more distractions and talk about a change at quarterback.” – Very close quote to what Simms said in the last drive of the game last night.

  48. xevious02 says: Oct 7, 2016 12:04 PM

    Geez, I wonder if anyone would be complaining if someone interjected their opinion in a column time after time after time. Pot and Kettle here. I guess it’s just bad because he is not backing the media hero…As the ratings keep tumbling. That’s right keep showing him kneeling.

  49. realfann says: Oct 7, 2016 12:05 PM

    The Niners have long had a practice of sending down their front office types to plant “stories” with the announcers. It used to be Paraag Marathe.

    The “stories” were invariably false: Harbaugh has lost the team, Harbaugh is plotting to take over personnel power, Kapaernick is not at team player, Kapaernick does not study tape, Kapaernick has left 20 TD’s on the field.

    It’s pathetic. But that’s what you get with Jed York.

  50. deathonwings410 says: Oct 7, 2016 12:20 PM

    Smms is so meh. Nantz is great, though.

  51. udontknowjaq says: Oct 7, 2016 12:23 PM

    Agin when a football analyst is mentioned on PFT the haters come out and cry about them like it’s there ex girlfriend.. pathetic

  52. cmtumd says: Oct 7, 2016 12:27 PM

    Phil Simms is the worst, but anyone who thinks there is some racial conspiracy to keep Kap off the field hasn’t been paying attention. Chip Kelly is tanking this season so he can get a QB that he wants. Why would you play a QB with Superbowl experience when you have BLAINE F’ing GABBERT? Right now the only thing standing in his way is the Browns.

  53. cadreamer1969 says: Oct 7, 2016 12:27 PM

    Phil is correct. Also Cowher said pregame Gabbert is a leader on the team and Kaepernick is a loner. This was in response to Deion’s race baiting rant.

  54. bigotshamer says: Oct 7, 2016 12:30 PM

    Jim Nantz is tonedeaf, out-of-touch and boring on his own. Phil Simms is terrible on his own. Together, they are absolutely atrocious.

    The fact that some of you injected ethnicity into this discussion further exposes you as the bigots you are. Congratulations!

  55. v2787 says: Oct 7, 2016 12:34 PM

    “kingpel says:
    Oct 7, 2016 12:01 PM
    I thought I read that Kaepernick just wasn’t physically ready to play after losing a lot of weight. I’m confident that he will play when the time is right.”

    If Kaepernick isn’t ready to play and is underweight, why is he even on the roster? Shouldn’t he be in a rehab program or something to get himself physically ready to be on the field? Why take up a roster spot if he’s physically unable to perform? A QB who’s underweight can’t help the team. Something smells fishy here.

  56. tylereifertisunstoppable says: Oct 7, 2016 12:35 PM

    Whatever happens with the QB situation, don’t throw the ball to the TE Celek anymore… he couldn’t catch a cold at a daycare center in January.

  57. sml1210 says: Oct 7, 2016 12:36 PM

    Simms is the absolute worst. Opinionated and stupid at the same time – a bad combination.

    My son and I have a code name for Simms, particularly when he’s on a Patriots game. I’d tell you what it is, but Florio would ban me from the site forever.

  58. sgrvn329 says: Oct 7, 2016 12:38 PM

    Phil Simms was an average QB who only completed 55.4% of his passes with 199 TD and 157 INTs, so he would n’t know a good QB if one bite him. All Phil’s sons were Blaine Gabberts. This Colin Kaepernick protest has made everyone lose their mind. So what if Colin doesn’t stand the media and the network can defuse his stance by not putting the camera on him and those who are using their platform for social change.

  59. cadreamer1969 says: Oct 7, 2016 12:45 PM

    You must have missed the Hyde penalty after a good run, roughing the kicker, sacks, dropped passes (come on Celek), fumbles, missed tackles, that went along with Gabbert’s bad throws. Some objective fans. Guess you ask more from the announcers that yourself.

  60. cardinealsfan20 says: Oct 7, 2016 12:57 PM

    @richc111 – “Maybe Simm’s was just reacting to the network telling him to promote Kaepernick because of the social issues what it represents and that saving this country from racism rests on Phils shoulder.”

    Right – And I was the second shooter on the grassy knoll.

    Fantastic grammar in that comment, reflective of the intelligence used to create it. Does Simms have only one shoulder?

  61. syrnyg says: Oct 7, 2016 1:00 PM

    The worst is Troy Aikman, and Buck, especially if your team is playing the Cowboys.. They are absolutely terrible..

  62. MichaelEdits says: Oct 7, 2016 1:01 PM

    Obviously it’s not a game of perfection. That’s why Phil Simms has a Super Bowl ring.

  63. haywoodjablomey says: Oct 7, 2016 1:04 PM

    “You can see from those 2 good throws that he made, and this one scramble, that he’s got the talent.”

    No, Phil, he doesn’t. No matter how much sugar you try to pile on it, underneath it all is just poop.

  64. 6250claimer says: Oct 7, 2016 1:19 PM

    Dennis Miller or even Louie Anderson would make a better sidekick for Nantz than this clown. Whatever credibility he might have had was completely lost last night with all this drivel about Gabbert, who probably shouldn’t even be on an NFL roster, much less starting for anybody.

  65. troy43mvp says: Oct 7, 2016 1:36 PM

    People have been calling Simms an uninformed arrogant blowhard for years. Exec’s can’t be surprised by this, as it is their fault. The guy can’t express his thoughts because of a very limited vocabulary. He also says things as if they are fact and the audience knows he wrong.

  66. 7ftgriff says: Oct 7, 2016 2:40 PM

    Even if you completely remove Kaepernick from the equation, I, along with a lot of 49ers fans want the Gabbert Era to be over, Kap still isn’t healthy? fine, let’s roll with Ponder. Blaine Gabbert has no future on this team and will not be re-signed this offseason. At this point you have to figure out if there is any viable qb on this roster beyond this season.

    That said, did they not hear the “We want Kap” chants in the stadium last night? Phil Simms went out of his way to give Gabbert a glowing review in spite of his sailing passes over open targets, short hopping open people on mid range passes, and targeting receivers short of the sticks on third down. When he outright said “The last thing I want to see is another pick to throw gas on the fire.” it really felt like he had a dog in this fight, and you should never feel that on a national broadcast.

  67. tonebones says: Oct 7, 2016 4:36 PM

    I don’t know if I can watch another NFL game that Simms is announcing. They need to take him off the air immediately. What he was saying was gross. During the 4th quarter, when the 49ers still had a chance to win, Simms was advocating for Gabbert not to try to win the ball game and risk throwing interceptions so that his stats would look better the next morning and he wouldn’t get blamed for the loss. I’ve never heard anything as ridiculous in all my life. Most racists do a much better job of hiding it. I’m shocked.

  68. leatherface2012 says: Oct 7, 2016 10:37 PM

    simms was god awful. any pass that gabby hayes threw, even if it went 5 feet over the receivers outstretched arms..”sure he missed the receiver, but look at that powerful throw” good god, next thursday nite game, i either won’t watch, or keep on mute….nance and simms are horrid

  69. datschu says: Oct 10, 2016 6:23 AM

    Simms is NOT the worst announcer in all of sports television… that woman with the annoyingly fake voice that announces For the big 10 network takes that kake hands down. I think CBS should rescue nantz, hire the dyke and put her in the booth with Simms. I think I’d. It my ears off

  70. domain7722 says: Oct 12, 2016 10:15 AM

    Kaepernick is a super bowl starter, almost a super bowl winner, and we have to put up with this dislogic of a glab bainhart..?
    i’m white and i know the arrogance of thinking: “‘oh no’, this can’t happen here… the system is perfect, there is never human error or human injustification.. Kaepernick is wrong, and might need to sit awhile longer.”
    simms might be thinking like this.

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