VIDOR – Being a quarterback for the Vidor Pirates is different than playing under most programs under the center. In today’s game, quarterbacks typically throw at least 20 passes, with the high-end being around 50 per game.
At Vidor, the quarterback is asked to do a completely different job and would be lucky enough to throw 20 times in a season.
After playing the corner last season, Eli Simmons will take the lead for the Pirates and their triple option offensive this fall.
The pirates’ style of play regularly requires the quarterback to play the ball and play fakes that make him vulnerable. The triple option has a lot of backcourt movement to confuse the defense as to who has the ball. In the summer, the offense focuses on the counterfeiting of the forgeries and the exact timing of the rash attack.
“I’m going to be a completely different kind of player,” said Simmons. “I can block, run and throw. Other quarterbacks can step back and throw. Vidor quarterbacks have to go out and hit someone … I love it. People say we should throw more, but as Coach puts it, it will work. “
Vidor head coach Jeff Mathews said Simmons has taken over the team’s summer training.
“He’s an incredible leader,” said Mathews. “He leads through what he says and through what he does. In practice, when we deliver our fakes we tell them to run to the hash and he’ll run 5 meters past it. Because he raises the bar, so do everyone else. “
The quarterback said leadership was always a given, but the change of position added gravity.
“Everyone looks at me differently as a quarterback,” he said. “I have to get louder. If I don’t say anything, most of the time nobody would do it. “
Simmons comes from a Vidor soccer family. His eldest brother played quarterback for the Pirates in 2013 and his other brother played fullback a few years ago.
“Since my older brother played quarterback in college, that’s been all I wanted to do,” said Simmons. “The coach finally gave me a chance so I hope I can follow in their footsteps.”
After finishing last season 2-3 in the district and finishing fourth in the playoffs, Simmons said he is ready for the Pirates to take a leap this year and win the district title and make his mark on the program. The quarterback is confident in his team’s ability to make a deep playoff push.
“I want to be a team leader and make sure I will be remembered in Vidor,” he said.