Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker has a little problem, he's not getting the football.
"You always want to be involved in the offense, especially when you think of yourself as a No. 1 receiver in this league," Sims-Walker told the Associated Press. "You work hard at it to be that guy and you go out there and you really don't get the opportunity to show it," he added.
He wants the football. He's frustrated.Amazingly in the Jaguars two wins, Mike Sims-Walker has a total of zero catches and only 3 combined targets. It's difficult for him to produce, in a contract year I might add, if he's not getting looks from his quarterback. It's understandable that he's frustrated and wants to contribute, but he was kind of backed into a corner by reporters when asked about it and came off complaining a little bit.
I'll be the first to say I have absolutely no problems with a wide receiver wanting the football. I don't really have any problems with what Mike Sims-Walker said and have no problem with him saying it.
Some fans however, will have a problem with it.
"I've never been a negative guy to try to make a fuss about it. I'm not going to sit around and cry or anything. But I'm a receiver and I catch the ball. This is a production-based business, and not even getting targeted is frustrating." Sims-Walker said on Wednesday.
Those are the kinds of comments fans generally will get upset about, because it looks like he's complaining but not complaining at the same time. Some will think he's being selfish, or unprofessional, or whatever. I don't think it is, the man's just venting his frustration with not being involved when he was asked about it. It's similar to last season, when Maurice Jones-Drew made comments about running the football.
"If it don't get to you, you don't love what you're doing," Sims-Walker said. "It's going to get to you no matter who you are. Even if I was the No. 3 receiver and I didn't get a target, I'd still be mad."
Some of these frustrations have come to head via Twitter from some Jaguars fans and his fantasy owners. I've got Mike Sims-Walker on a fantasy team and I have only started him once this season, but I'm not going to attack him on Twitter about it.
"I've never seen this many bitter people in my life. They're calling me everything in the book: 'I'm benching you, you're this, you're that, you're trash.' It kind of hurts a little bit," Sims-Walker said in regards to comments and messages he's received on Twitter.
Granted Sims-Walker needs some thicker skin if it's really bothering him, but he likes to interact with the fans so it's understandable he's upset about that. Hopefully this won't deter Sims-Walker from Twitter, it certainly didn't this morning with his typical battle cry of "Olly olly oxynfreeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!" A lot of what's endeared Sims-Walker so much to the Jaguars fan base was his ability to overcome all the adversity he did in his first two seasons and his penchant for interacting with fans.
Jack Del Rio was asked about Mike Sims-Walker when he met with the media yesterday, as Sims-Walker has taken a lot of heat from the fans and some of the local media because of his lack of production. Jack Del Rio doesn't see an issue with Mike's play on the field. Del Rio thinks Sims-Walker has just been missed.
"Yeah, he was open several times the other day and the ball just didn't come his way. We're asking our quarterback to be in rhythm, get rid of the ball, be on time, be decisive. Mike was open a couple times, we didn't hit him and there was an opportunity to do that," Jack Del Rio said. "It's a team game. Ultimately, we score 31, we win, we're all happy, but there were some opportunities to get Mike involved. He's a good player for us, we want to keep him involved and that's just a coincidence that it went off that way. He's actually played pretty well," Del Rio added.
Del Rio jokingly said said, "There you have it. Don't throw at Mike and we win," but he understands for continued success on offense, Sims-Walker needs to be involved. Last week against the Colts, the game plan was tapered down and geared more towards running the football and short quick passes which much better suit Mike Thomas than Sims-Walker. How long that game plan works remains to be seen, but it would definitely behoove David Garrard and the offense as a whole to start looking Sims-Walker's direction.