December 8, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
MIKE SIMS-WALKER isn't the first former NFLer to come north to Canada with a resumé that positively glows.
And he certainly won't be the last.
But this much is clear: In Sims-Walker, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have added a player highly motivated to reclaim his pro football career almost two years after he last cashed a game cheque.
"This is another opportunity to play football. I missed the game," said Sims-Walker at a press conference Tuesday. "I thought about retiring, but I feel like I've got a lot of football left in me and I'm still young. I just like to play the game, it's really not about money right now. I just want to make some plays and have fun."
A former star at Central Florida who led the Jacksonville Jaguars in receiving in 2009, Sims-Walker has battled injuries since and bounced from the Jags to St. Louis in free agency, back to Jacksonville and then to the New York Jets this spring.
Now the question is how quickly he can learn all the little intricacies of the three-down game and, if so, whether he'd be inserted into the lineup this Sunday in Regina.
"I'm hoping," he said. "I'm in the playbook already and I'm trying my best to get out there as soon as possible.
"Football is football, I'm not going to make it harder than it is. I've played this game for a long time and have been going out there and making plays. Of course the terminology will probably be a little different, but outside of that it's football."
Sims-Walker calls Calgary Stampeders receiver Mo Price one of his friends, and also knows current Bomber receiver Clarence Denmark and Riders' safety Tyrone Brackenridge. He admittedly had hoped he'd draw interest from an NFL team, but when the Bombers came courting he couldn't resist the opportunity.
"Of course I was waiting on the big call, but after waiting so long you're just ready to play football, you're ready to get on some pads and make a play, catch a ball... do something," he said. "I was at that point: come play or not.
"If anyone is going to put pressure on myself, its going to be me. I'm going to try my best... and hopefully that leads to turning this around."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 28, 2013 D3
Updated on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM CDT:
corrects accented characters