Phil Simms is staying with CBS, heading to the studio from the broadcast booth.
The two-time Super Bowl champion, former New York Giants quarterback will join The NFL Today for the 2017 season. He has been with CBS since 1998. He called games with Greg Gumbel through the 2004 season. Simms and Jim Nantz worked together from 2005-16.
CBS recently signed former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to replace Simms as the network’s number one color commentator.
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Simms and CBS Sports President Sean McManus had been discussing a move from the broadcast booth to an in-studio role. He currently works in an in-studio role on Showtime’s Inside the NFL.
“When Sean told me he wanted me in the studio, I thought about it a bit,” Simms said. “I told him I would like to do (games) a bit longer. I love doing the games, meeting during the week with coaches and players, getting the inside info. It is the best.
“But I also thought that I would 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 lot of things I don’t get to say on games I have a chance to say now. There are a lot things I would like to talk about that I never would have talked about during games.”
Simms will join host James Brown and analysts Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason, and Bart Scott. He will replace Tony Gonzalez in the studio. Gonzalez announced he was leaving The NFL Today after three seasons, citing travel and a desire to work closet to home.
Simms already has a rapport with Brown and Esiason from their work on Inside the NFL.
“James and I get along really well,” he said laughing. “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. Boomer and I have known each other for years and we do not have thin skins, so we can say anything to each other.”
McManus is counting on the rapport Simms has with Brown and Esiason to carry over. The network received criticism for the way they handled the Romo announcement.
“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’m excited about it, and (Simms) was excited.
“This will be good for viewers. Anyone who has watched 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 respectful way. And you see the interaction they have on Inside the NFL. It’s really good stuff, a really good mix.”
Simms backed up McManus’ words.
“We all love football, and I think that will come across,” he said. “And I hope we talk about the aspects of the game I have opinions about that are different from what you hear on other shows.”