NEW ORLEANS -- To make your NFL starting debut on Monday Night Football is a daunting enough task. To do it against the prolific New Orleans Saints offense and spend most of the game covering one of the league's very best tight ends, Jimmy Graham, makes the job all the more difficult.
Such was the assignment for David Sims on Monday night, as the first-year player started alongside Kurt Coleman after Nate Allen was unable to play after testing his hamstring injury before the game. Sims was often charged with covering Graham one-on-one, and held his own at times, but Graham was the focal point of the Saints' passing game.
On the night, Graham led the Saints with eight receptions for 72 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.
"It didn't go the way I planned," said Sims following the game. "I felt that I could have done better to help the team. But it's over. I did give it my all. I could have played a lot better."
Though he wasn't an all-pro from snap one, Sims did acquit himself well, moreso as the game went on. He led the Eagles with eight tackles, including one tackle for loss, and added a pass defensed while in coverage on Graham.
"My emotions were everywhere (in the beginning)," Sims said. "I think I was too hyped and I think I need to settle down early. In the beginning of the game, I missed a couple plays because I was just too hyped and ready to go.
"(I settled down) after awhile, after a couple drives. It was my first start but I've played football before and I need to act like it. It was Monday Night Football but I didn't need to put it on a pedestal, just settle down and play football like I know how to."
Sims, 5-9, 204, said that the game plan coming into the game was for him to see a lot of time matched up one-on-one with Graham, the 6-foot-7 former Miami basketball player.
"Yeah, it was the game plan, and I was up to the challenge," he said. "He's a big body. We were battling all night."
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