Redskins: Cam Sims mental toughness beneficial as preseason approaches
When the game clock expires at the Washington Redskins first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, Cam Sims will be his own biggest critic even if he performs admirably. The former undrafted free agent is one of several players involved in a highly contested battle at wide receiver.
Redskins wide receiver Cam Sims is now entering his second year with the team after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Alabama in 2018. While physically gifted with elite size and length, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound receiver didn’t show well enough in college to get selected in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Crimson Tide offense during Sims’ four years with the team was loaded with talent at running back, tight end, and wide receiver. Some of the better options on the perennial powerhouse included Cowboys WR Amari Cooper, former Jets WR ArDarius Stewart, Falcons WR Calvin Ridley, Buccaneers TE OJ Howard, Titans RB Derrick Henry, Bills WR Robert Foster, and former Seahawks RB Bo Scarbrough. At times it is difficult for a player to prove themselves when surrounded by so many gifted players as opportunities to produce become limited.
Sometimes a player just needs an opportunity to showcase their abilities, and Cam Sims did just that in the 2018 preseason. The reason that Sims made the 53-man roster last year was that he was able to produce when he got his chance. In fact, Sims led the Redskins in the preseason with 131 total receiving yards on just five receptions. His preseason performance was so surprising that it really changed the camp competition at wide receiver. Per Jake Kring-Schreifels on the Redskins team website, Redskins Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams said that Sims “threw a hand grenade in this thing.”
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In a sit-down interview with JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington at this year’s training camp in Richmond, Sims was asked to assess his own camp performance thus far. He stated that his performance to date “was bad.” He further mentioned that “if I drop a pass I will say that my whole day is bad,” and that “if I catch 100 balls and I drop that one pass I would say my whole day is bad.” Even though Sims believes his performance in training camp has been bad, most team insiders have noted that Sims has really done well.
It’s possible that Cam Sims has made it this far in his professional career because of the way he is able to criticize his own game. If he is not producing or living up to his own strict expectations then it isn’t good enough. This mentality is what separates the great players in the NFL as the quest for perfection is endless.
Cam Sims has the talent and mental toughness to be included in the group of wide receivers selected to the final 53-man roster, but he must fend off some pretty stiff competition. Players on the Redskins at wide receiver such as Paul Richardson, Josh Doctson, Trey Quinn, and Terry McLaurin seem like locks to make the final roster at this point in training camp.
This potentially leaves two more spots for Sims, Robert Davis, and rookie Kelvin Harmon. Robert Davis is coming off a major injury suffered last year and must show that he is fully healthy and able to perform up to expectations. Harmon is a sixth-round draft pick that has received mixed reviews in training camp but was highly productive in his time at North Carolina State.
Sims himself only played in one regular-season game in 2018 because of a high ankle sprain suffered in the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals. That injury prematurely ended his season before it really had the chance to begin.
The grueling competition to decide the final receiver spot(s) will go into the next phase when the Redskins take on the Browns in Cleveland on Thursday. Sims must replicate his outstanding performance from last year in order to make the final 53-man roster. He must build a rapport with all of the Redskins quarterbacks in order to take advantage of the opportunity that has been presented to him once again. If he cannot, he will just be one of the many cuts made by the team at the end of the preseason.