Memphis Daily News Chandler Reports Nashville Ledger
» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 43 | NO. 18 | Friday, May 3, 2019

First pick moved by Strunk, Titans’ confidence

Print | Front Page | Email this story

Simmons

When the Tennessee Titans took Jeffery Simmons with the 19th pick overall in the draft, an alarm immediately went off in ESPN’s coverage of the draft.

The reason: An ugly video of Simmons assaulting a woman in 2016 after he intervened in a fight between that woman and his sister.

It also created many questions for Simmons, Titans general manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel.

How did the Mississippi State defensive tackle move from a public relations liability to first-round draft pick?

The Titans needed to be convinced that Simmons’ actions and words in the aftermath of the incident were sincere, that he truly had learned from the situation and was doing everything in his power to redeem himself.

And that approval had to go all the way to the top of the organization and owner Amy Adams Strunk.

“Jon (Robinson) and Mike (Vrabel) came to me months ago, and we discussed the incident,” Strunk says. “We watched the video together. It begins with trust from Mike and Jon that I was able to get comfortable.

“But they were both very respectful that I needed to be comfortable, because at the end of the day, I have the final decision. It was a process. But it did not take me long to see that this young man had an incident when he was in high school. We all can look back at our lives in high school and wish we’d done things differently.”

After listening to Robinson and Vrabel and the word of the scouts who do the leg work that Simmons was deserving of a second chance – despite the incident and having torn his ACL in February – she gave them the nod to draft him, if he was on the board at No. 19.

The Titans selected him, and Strunk said she believes that Simmons will continue to use the incident and the second chance as motivation to stay on the straight and narrow.

“You can talk ‘I’m sorry,’ the best thing is that he’s lived the life of, ‘I’m truly sorry and I’m going to be a good man.’ So that made it really easy for me to become comfortable with Jeffery (Simmons),” she adds.

“We’re getting a great football player, that goes without saying. But we’re getting a great man. Jon and Mike, too – especially our locker room is so important. We only have good men in there, and this young man is a good man.”

“I said yes because Jon (Robinson) wanted to make sure that I knew all of the facts and knew what had happened. We’re so pleased to have him, and Nashville is going to really be pleased with what they see this next year, not only as a football player, but when he’s out in the community, because that’s important to him. We’re a nation that gives second chances, and this young man Jeffery Simmons, he deserves that second chance.”

Those words moved Simmons to tears as he heard them from the team owner.

“You know, coming from a woman, I made that mistake, I regret it,” Simmons said through the tears. “Just to hear her say that, I’m grateful. The key word she said was trust, and I’m telling her in front of you guys that she can trust me, and I won’t let her down. I’m just grateful.”

-- Terry McCormick

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0