Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms was reported by Ian Rapoport, formerly of the Boston Herald, to have joined the Patriots coaching staff on March 26. Despite that report, when the Patriots announced their coaching changes for the 2012 season, Simms was not among the moves announced.
It now seems as though Simms is serving in some type of hybrid role as a scout and a coach. He has been out on the practice field working with the team's offense in both rookie minicamp and the team's Organized Team Activities (OTAs) that have been open to the media, including yesterday's session, as reported by Andy Hart of Patriots Football Weekly.
The team has yet to release their media guide for the 2012 season, which is one of the only places you will find an official listing of their scouting staff, so at this point his position with the team can only be speculated.
He would not be the first non-coach to be active in team practices. Nick Caserio, the Patriots Director of Pro Personnel, has often been seen working with the offense and even throwing passes as an extra arm at training camp in the past. Caserio was the team's wide receivers coach before joining the front office, but he remains active occasionally at practices, even after leaving the coaching ranks.
For now, at least, it seems this is the kind of double role Simms has taken on. He could prove to be valuable to the team because he knows first hand what makes offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' offense go. Simms served as the backup quarterback to Kyle Orton during McDaniels' time as head coach of the Denver Broncos.
Belichick too has a long-standing relationship with Simms and his family. Belichick was on the coaching staff when Simms' dad, Phil, led the New York Giants to two Super Bowl titles in 1986 and 1990. Then in 2008, Chris Gasper of the Boston Globe reported the Patriots were flirting with the idea of signing Chris Simms after Tom Brady's season-ending injury, before deciding not to bring in any competition for replacement starter Matt Cassel.