Patrick Peterson: LB Isaiah Simmons ‘not technically ready’ for extensive role – Cards Wire

When the Arizona Cardinals made Isaiah Simmons the No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 draft, many NFL analysts called the pick the steal of the draft. The versatile 2019 Butkus Award winner was seen as a plug-and-play guy who could play outside or inside linebacker, slot cornerback, and safety.

Unfortunately for the first-year player, Simmons has barely seen the playing field. Through five games, he has recorded only 57 of a possible 338 defensive snaps.

According to PFF, in his final year at Clemson, Simmons recorded snaps at the following positions:

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning, announced that outside linebacker Chandler Jones will have season-ending surgery to repair his right biceps. Could the Cardinals finally look to Simmons to replace his injured teammates? Maybe not, and Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson might have revealed why.

On All Things Covered, his weekly podcast with Bryant McFadden, Peterson had this to say about Simmons:

Him not having an offseason to really find out what position would be good for him versus doing the virtual meetings. They really didnt expect DC (DeVondre Campbell) to have the season that hes having. Its hard to put that type of guy on the bench when necessarily your first rounder is not technically ready.

Hes not ready?

Previously, when asked about Simmons, coach Kingsbury goes to his standard yeah, thats something were working through. It is understandable Kingsbury does not want to call out his defensive coordinator in the media, but if Peterson is right and Simmons is not ready, then that rests solely on the shoulders of defensive coordinator Joseph.

Consider this, below are the number of snaps and the percentage of total snaps played by other 2020 defensive first-round picks whose teams are currently .500 or better.

As we see other rookie first-round picks receiving snaps its fair to ask Is this on Simmons or Joseph?

Despite Simmons ability to move around on the defense, it seems as if Vance Joseph is pigeonholing Simmons into the weakside inside linebacker spot occupied by DeVondre Campbell. Peterson is right, with the way Campbell is playing, there is no way you put him on the sidelines.

But with injuries plaguing the Cardinals secondary and now the defensive front seven, when will Simmons get his opportunity to learn? Opportunities are presenting themselves, but Joseph seems to be reluctant to not just do whats right for the team, but Simmons development as well.

As an old mentor once told me, Theres no better way to learn than to do.

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Patrick Peterson: LB Isaiah Simmons 'not technically ready' for extensive role - Cards Wire

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