Steven Sims Remembers Coach Telling Him He’d ‘Never Be Anything’
Steven Sims knows this feeling well.
Generously listed at 5’10”, 176 pounds, Sims doesn’t fit the mold of your standard NFL wide receiver. As far back as he can remember, Sims battled against that perception.
“Honestly, I guess that’s coaches,” Sims said Monday at the Rooney Complex. “They like big guys. It’s always been like that since I was younger, too. You’re always going to pick the bigger guy before me thinking the bigger guy is better than me, but then time will tell.”
That time is now for Sims.
After the Steelers traded Chase Claypool to the Bears, Sims finds himself looking at more playing time. While Claypool previously served as the team’s primary slot option, Sims figures to take those reps.
It’s an opportunity he cherishes.
“Everything’s the same for me, honestly,” Sims said. “I’m getting a bigger role, getting more opportunities to help the team win, and that’s all I can ask for, just more opportunities. And I gotta capitalize on those opportunities.
“I’ve done everything they asked me to do. When I get in, I make explosive plays, and I guess they like that.”
Taking over for Claypool is step one on Sims’ mission. He knows there’s work to be done –– and where that’s concerned, you better believe he’s fueled by the doubters in his past.
“Honestly, I remember my middle school coach telling me I would never be anything,” Sims said.
Sims’ best receiving season came as a rookie in 2019 for Washington, when he caught 34 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns.
Just like his height and weight, those aren’t eye-popping metrics.
But Sims believes the best is yet to come –– for him and for his teammates.
“[What differentiates me is] just run after the catch,” Sims said. “That’s going to help open more things up for everybody on the outside. I’m not saying nobody else could do it, but that’s just something that I specialize in, and hopefully it opens up for me and [Dion]tae to get run after the catch, to get him more open touches.”
Immense production from Sims certainly would come as a surprise to many. Besides his relatively thin history at the position, the Steelers offense as a whole has underwhelmed thus far in 2022.
But if Sims does provide a spark?
He might just say he told you so.
“It’s just my journey,” Sims said. “Like I said, since I was a young guy I’ve always been kind of the underdog story. That’s just my nature to work and wait my turn in a sense. It’s normal to me. Like I said, just always being counted out –– underdog, small guy, blase blase…
“I put in the work like everybody else. I work hard, grind hard, go every rep full speed, every rep like it’s a game rep, every practice like it’s a game and it’s just elevated my game as I’ve grown in the league. And it got me to the point where I’m at now.”