Sure, the optics might have been better that way, but if Simms was unwilling to take the studio role at that point, it's hard to really blame CBS for making the move they wanted to with Romo and letting things shake out however they would with Simms. Just past year, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus had high praise for both Simms and Jim Nantz.
Simms' move to the studio became possible after CBS hired Tony Romo to serve as the network's No. 1 analyst on National Football League games. Still, the network opted to pluck Romo straight from the gridiron - a former Cowboys quarterback who has never worked on television before - over Simms.
McManus told Sports Illustrated he had been discussing this option with Simms for several years and supported his work as an analyst.
"When I first was told that I wasn't going to do the games, was I upset?"
Said Simms: "Sean and I talked and that was it".
Simms joins James Brown, Bill Cowher, Bart Scott and Boomer Esiason on the "NFL Today" set. He says he's more than comfortable being part of that lineup, and looks forward to some pointed conversations among the group.
"Listen, I didn't make any comments for a lot of reasons and you want to sit there and think about it", Simms said. "As I said, we've been talking about if for a while and this year for a variety of reasons turned out to be the ideal year to make the move". I can remember my answer being, 'Yeah, maybe one day, but I still love doing games'.
Irving scores 37, Cavs hold on to beat Pacers
Cleveland is 12-0 when starting 2-0 in the postseason. "I'm not even going to say it's our defense", Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. After the game, he seemed very much like a man who is exhausted of toiling away on a middling team.
McManus is certain that will be the case.
Simms said he wasn't done with broadcasting following the announcement that Romo would take his spot at CBS.
"I think Phil will be a terrific addition and it will elevate the show", McManus said, per Deitsch.
"Phil is very opinionated and doesn't mind mixing it up in a respectful way", McManus said.
"This will be good for viewers. He is a man who has really strong opinions and he is not afraid to mix it up with other staff members in a respectable way". "But I knew I was never going anywhere".
What about handling being absent from the broadcast booth after so many Sundays (and Thursday nights) behind the microphone? "I kept quiet. I wanted to wait until I got all the information in and decided what I was going to do".