The most vivid quote that was articulated at the post-draft mini-camp was by defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, who described linebacker Ernie Sims as a "shark in the water."
It's only fitting that Sims, an animal lover, owns over 50 pets and among them are two sharks - one is a horn shark that is about two to three feet in length. The other is a blacktip, which Sims named Jaws because he looks just like a Great White. One day, Sims said that he would like to own a Great White, but until then he'll take the compliment from his coach.
"Any compliment like that you have to be thankful for," Sims said as he took part in the rookie and selected vet OTA on Monday. "I don't know the defense all that well, I'm still learning right now. One thing I'm doing that God blessed me with is running to the ball with my speed. Whenever I see ball, I go get ball. That's my motto."
That motto served him well in Detroit during the first four years of his career where he amassed 505 tackles including an eye-popping 172 in his sophomore season of 2007. The former first-round pick believes this defense is ideal for his style of play.
"My whole career I was taught speed, speed, speed," Sims said. "In this defense, playing the WILL linebacker position, that's what it enables me to do. That's why I'm so excited to be here. I'm picking all of the coaches' brains. I'm trying to learn as much as I can. I'm happy to be here."
In Detroit, Sims' teams won a combined total of 12 games. Just last year, the Eagles won 11. Other than Thanksgiving, the Lions were never featured in a nationally televised game. This year alone, the Eagles have three Sunday night games, a Monday night game, a Thursday night game and three other nationally televised games. Being back in the spotlight, Sims said, should help take his game to a whole new level.
"It just feels good to be back to what I'm used to, what I'm accustomed to - winning. My whole life that's what I was used to," said Sims, who won two conference titles at Florida State and four state titles in high school. "Being back in this environment, my career, my play is going to get even higher. I was telling my wife that I never played in a Monday night game, a night football game, any of that in the NFL. Every (Thanksgiving) game we played was a blowout. It just feels good to be in the spotlight all over again."
Until then, the "shark in the water" has a thirst for the nuances of this defense. That's why he's taking part in these workouts reserved for the rookies and selected vets.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 2:40 p.m., May 24