What happens when an NFL quarterback is a first-round draft pick, but a separated shoulder and a knee injury force him to miss a lot of games early in his career?
What happens when the “injury prone” label starts to be thrown around and fans become impatient and critical?
What happens is Bill Belichick gets to explain 30 years later how Phil Simms overcame those problems — which Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is now facing — to become a Super Bowl MVP.
“I remember when I was with the Giants and we drafted Phil Simms in ’79,” Belichick, a Giants coach in 1979-90, said Tuesday in a conference call with Detroit reporters. “He had a couple tough-luck years right at the beginning of his career and wasn’t able to really become the first couple (years) what the expectations were when he was drafted with the … seventh pick in the first round, whatever it was. And there were a lot of fans and media and people that thought this guy’s a bust and he’s injury prone and he’s going to always be hurt and all that.