I CAN DO with Benjamin Lee

A Conversation with NFL Coach Darrin Simmons

May 20, 2020 Benjamin Lee Season 1 Episode 32
I CAN DO with Benjamin Lee
A Conversation with NFL Coach Darrin Simmons
Chapters
I CAN DO with Benjamin Lee
A Conversation with NFL Coach Darrin Simmons
May 20, 2020 Season 1 Episode 32
Benjamin Lee

Darrin Simmons is the assistant head coach/and special teams coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. Simmons is now in his 17th season with the team and stands as the longest-tenured coach on staff. 

Over his Bengals career, Simmons' work with the special teams units has helped re-write the team's record book. Simmons has guided P Kevin Huber to the top spot in every career punting category, including attempts (768), yards (34,618), gross average (45.08), net average (39.79) and inside-20s (266). Under Simmons' direction, Huber has notched the top five seasons in team history for net average and inside-20s, and the top four seasons for gross average. Snapping to Huber for a majority of his career has been another Simmons protégé, LS Clark Harris, who entering 2019 has 1428 career snaps without an unplayable delivery.

Simmons' special teams units have also excelled in the return game. He's coached three of the Bengals' top four leaders in career punt return average — leader Adam Jones (11.38), second-place Quan Cosby (9.99) and fourth-place Peter Warrick (9.74) — and four of the team's top six leaders in career kickoff return average — leader Adam Jones (26.35), second-place Alex Erickson, fifth-place Bernard Scott (24.48) and sixth-place Glenn Holt (24.27).

Last season under Simmons, the Bengals ranked seventh in punt return coverage (10.7), fifth in kickoff return average (24.9) and ninth in punt coverage (7.3 yards/return). Also, WR Alex Erickson averaged 26.2-yards per kickoff return, the fourth-best single-season mark ever by a Bengal.

In 2017, Simmons helped Harris to his first-career Pro Bowl. The veteran LS had 143 snaps (89 punts, 54 placekicks) without an unplayable delivery, and recorded four special teams tackles.

In 2016, Simmons guided Erickson's unexpected rise from college free agent to the AFC kickoff return title, with a 27.9 average (on 29 returns). Although he did not make the Pro Bowl, Erickson ranked second in the NFL, and his average was the second-best in Bengals history, behind only the NFL-leading 31.3 mark that CB Adam Jones posted under Simmons in 2014. Erickson became the first Bengal with three KOR of 65 or more yards in a season.

In 2015, HB Cedric Peerman made the Pro Bowl as a kick coverage and return-unit performer. Peerman's 17 tackles tied for the Bengals' highest total since 2008, and he had 13 solo stops, leading the Bengals to a No. 3 NFL ranking in opponents' average drive start on kickoffs (20.2 yard line).

Simmons guided Huber to the Pro Bowl in 2014, after he posted franchise records for gross (46.8) and net (42.1) average, re-setting club marks he already held. Also in '14, Simmons helped Jones to the NFL lead in kickoff return average, with a team-record mark of 31.26, along with a second-place finish in punt return average (12.0). Jones just missed becoming the first player since Detroit's Mel Gray in 1991 to lead the league in both categories.

Simmons' Bengals special teams have shown a nose for the ball, forcing 27 fumbles in his 16 completed seasons. The 1.7 average comfortably outpaces the 1.0 norm for the nine seasons prior to his tenure.

In this wide ranging discussion we talk about:

-       Family

-       The Importance of Hard Work

-       Handling Pressure

-       Routines

-       Preparation

-       And Leadership

Enjoy the show! 



Show Notes

Darrin Simmons is the assistant head coach/and special teams coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. Simmons is now in his 17th season with the team and stands as the longest-tenured coach on staff. 

Over his Bengals career, Simmons' work with the special teams units has helped re-write the team's record book. Simmons has guided P Kevin Huber to the top spot in every career punting category, including attempts (768), yards (34,618), gross average (45.08), net average (39.79) and inside-20s (266). Under Simmons' direction, Huber has notched the top five seasons in team history for net average and inside-20s, and the top four seasons for gross average. Snapping to Huber for a majority of his career has been another Simmons protégé, LS Clark Harris, who entering 2019 has 1428 career snaps without an unplayable delivery.

Simmons' special teams units have also excelled in the return game. He's coached three of the Bengals' top four leaders in career punt return average — leader Adam Jones (11.38), second-place Quan Cosby (9.99) and fourth-place Peter Warrick (9.74) — and four of the team's top six leaders in career kickoff return average — leader Adam Jones (26.35), second-place Alex Erickson, fifth-place Bernard Scott (24.48) and sixth-place Glenn Holt (24.27).

Last season under Simmons, the Bengals ranked seventh in punt return coverage (10.7), fifth in kickoff return average (24.9) and ninth in punt coverage (7.3 yards/return). Also, WR Alex Erickson averaged 26.2-yards per kickoff return, the fourth-best single-season mark ever by a Bengal.

In 2017, Simmons helped Harris to his first-career Pro Bowl. The veteran LS had 143 snaps (89 punts, 54 placekicks) without an unplayable delivery, and recorded four special teams tackles.

In 2016, Simmons guided Erickson's unexpected rise from college free agent to the AFC kickoff return title, with a 27.9 average (on 29 returns). Although he did not make the Pro Bowl, Erickson ranked second in the NFL, and his average was the second-best in Bengals history, behind only the NFL-leading 31.3 mark that CB Adam Jones posted under Simmons in 2014. Erickson became the first Bengal with three KOR of 65 or more yards in a season.

In 2015, HB Cedric Peerman made the Pro Bowl as a kick coverage and return-unit performer. Peerman's 17 tackles tied for the Bengals' highest total since 2008, and he had 13 solo stops, leading the Bengals to a No. 3 NFL ranking in opponents' average drive start on kickoffs (20.2 yard line).

Simmons guided Huber to the Pro Bowl in 2014, after he posted franchise records for gross (46.8) and net (42.1) average, re-setting club marks he already held. Also in '14, Simmons helped Jones to the NFL lead in kickoff return average, with a team-record mark of 31.26, along with a second-place finish in punt return average (12.0). Jones just missed becoming the first player since Detroit's Mel Gray in 1991 to lead the league in both categories.

Simmons' Bengals special teams have shown a nose for the ball, forcing 27 fumbles in his 16 completed seasons. The 1.7 average comfortably outpaces the 1.0 norm for the nine seasons prior to his tenure.

In this wide ranging discussion we talk about:

-       Family

-       The Importance of Hard Work

-       Handling Pressure

-       Routines

-       Preparation

-       And Leadership

Enjoy the show!