Simoneau Gets Another Chance

Mark Simoneau was at home in Kansas City seriously pondering what to do with the rest of his life.

A football career that began at Smith Center High School, moved down the road to Kansas State and onto the NFL with the Falcons, Eagles and Saints had stalled. Simoneau had not stepped on the NFL regular-season field since 2007. Injuries had wiped out his 2008-09 seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He was released back in early March and in the last few months he had one call to workout. That was the Chiefs.

Now, he’s part of the Chiefs 53-man roster, signing on Tuesday and getting a chance to continue what he thought was a closed book with a practice on Wednesday.

“I thought there was a possibility of that,” Simoneau said when he was asked if he thought his career was over. “I tried to stay in shape and as ready as I could be. I kept watching football and seeing what offenses were doing and trying to stay as sharp as I could.

“I feel blessed to have this opportunity with my hometown team. It feels awesome. I don’t know how many guys have that opportunity to play for the team they grew up watching.”

About three years ago, Simoneau and his wife moved to Kansas City from New Orleans. They were already thinking ahead to his life after football and felt getting back to the Midwest was the way to go.

Now, for the first time in his NFL life, he doesn’t have to pack his bags and call the moving company.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “You just try to stay in shape and the motivation was just to have one more opportunity.

“But one day I’m just hanging out and the next day I’m here practicing.”

The 6-0, 245-pound Simoneau entered the NFL as a third-round selection of the Atlanta Falcons in the 2000 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons with the Falcons and then was traded to Philadelphia where he played three seasons.

Three years later, he was traded again, as Simoneau headed south to New Orleans in 2006 and spent four seasons there, although only the first two did he actually play in the regular season. He missed the ’08 season with a back problem and then the ’09 season with a right triceps injury. The last regular season game he played was December 30, 2007 with the Saints at Chicago.

Simoneau watched from the injured-reserve list last season as the Saints made the run to the Super Bowl and an NFL championship.

“It was difficult,” Simoneau allowed. “It’s hard watching, but I felt good for my teammates because there were so many guys I was close to on that team. Watching them excel was gratifying, but I did miss out on being out on the field.”

Over his 130-game career in the regular and post-season, Simoneau started 72 games. He was credited with 419 total tackles, seven sacks, one interception, eight forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 35 total tackles on special teams. That’s likely the area where he’ll get the chance to play for the Chiefs.

One Response to “Simoneau Gets Another Chance”

  • October 27, 2010  - Don says:

    Nice story! Here’s hpoing is keeps getting better.

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