Behind The Pads With Barry Sims
Barry played two years at the University of Utah after transferring from Dixie Junior College. He never seriously thought about going pro until after his junior year. Before that the thought of playing in the NFL was merely a childhood dream. Barry began receiving letters of interest from teams, and with the support from his family and friends the decision to go for it was made. Barry trained hard and had a productive senior year finishing with All WAC honors. The scouting consensus was Barry had enough natural ability and character to be, a mid to late round pick in the 1997 Draft. Following his senior season, Barry was invited to the Hula Bowl All Star game. This was an opportunity for Barry to increase his value for the upcoming draft. Scouts representing every team in the league were present during practice. The largest group of spectators gathered around the Offensive and Defensive lines as they worked on pass rush drills. This is an area of Barry’s game that is his biggest strength.
The practice was going as expected. Eyebrows were beginning to rise as Barry shut down one defender after another. That is until the unthinkable happened. As Barry took his pass set as he had done so many times before, his foot got caught up in the turf and he blew out his knee. This was a devastating blow to the goals and dreams that Barry had built up from the beginning. “From the moment it happened, I felt it was going to be a blessing in disguise.”
Barry returned to Salt Lake City where he had surgery the following week. During the operation it was determined that Barry had extensive bone damage. The likelihood of a return to the gridiron was doubtful. Not willing to accept that his career was over before it began, Barry’s long road to recovery was under way. The next year was spent in Utah as Barry finished his undergraduate degree in Sociology, while regaining his football form he had spent so many years perfecting. Once the rehab concluded, Barry was healthy again and eager to sign with a team. He began working out for teams proving that he had in fact overcome that fateful day in Hawaii. There was only one problem. After missing the entire year, there was a question whether his knee would hold up under the intensity of an NFL season.
As time was running out, it looked like Barry’s dreams to play professional football would never be realized. As the season concluded, Barry’s hunger for the game of football was never greater. That’s when the NFL Europe League (NFLEL) came into the picture. This was an opportunity to prove to the skeptics that Barry was in fact a diamond in the rough. After being selected in the 17th round of the NFLEL draft a full 2 years away from the Hula Bowl, a new chapter in Barry’s life began as a professional football player.
Barry headed to Scotland where he quickly adapted to football at the next level starting every game at tackle. Once the season was over and the status of Barry’s knee was determined to be healthy, the interest in signing him grew. A number of teams began to recruit him heavily, reassured that his former injury was a not an issue. After careful consideration it looked like the best opportunity for Barry to shine was in Oakland, playing for the legendary Raiders. Barry began to show what he had known all along, that he was meant to play in the NFL. That was never more evident than when Barry was called upon to start the 5th game of his rookie season, against the Buffalo Bills. His assignment for that game was to contain none other than Legendary All Pro Bruce Smith. When the dust settled and the game was over, the Raiders were victorious. Rushing for a season high 195 yards. It was a storybook tale for a man that never had a doubt in his abilities. Barry went on to start 10 games his rookie season, 6 at left tackle and 4 at right guard proving to the league that he belongs.
Barry played 9 seasons for the Raiders in which he has started a total of 119 games, and played in 136 league games. Also being fortunate enough to start two AFC Championships and one Superbowl. As Barry moves across the Bay to play his 10th season for the San Francisco 49ers, he can be sure that no matter what obstacles get in his way, thanks to his comeback he is well equipped for the challenge.
PRO: 12 year NFL Career. Barry is an Athletic, Versatile, and Skilled Offensive Lineman that was a mainstay on the offensive line for the Raiders for the 9 seasons, and the 49ers for 3 seasons.
Barry has played in 181 league games with 149 starts, including 7 playoff starts, 2 Conference Championship games and 1 Super bowl appearance.
2011– Retired after 12 years service in National Football League
2010– Replaced injured Joe Staley and started 7 games at left tackle in final NFL season
2009– Started 8 games at left tackle after replacing the injured Joe Staley. Blocked for 1100-yard running back Frank Gore.
2008– Joined the San Francisco 49ers after 9 seasons with the Raiders. Started 8 games at right tackle after replacing Jonas Jennings in the lineup. Helped pave the way for 1000-yard rusher Frank Gore.
2007 : Started all 16 games at left tackle for the Raiders and helped team rank sixth in NFL for rushing yards (2,086). Served as team captain and longest tenured starter on the team.
2006 : Started 7 games at left guard before being sidelined by an injury for the remainder of the season. The injury snapped a 67 game consecutive start streak.
2005 : Started in all 16 league games at left tackle. Was the only member of the offensive line to play every snap from scrimmage. Helped block for 1000 yard rusher Lamont Jordan.
2004 : Started all 16 league games at left tackle, helped protect Raiders quarterbacks in an offense that racked up over 4,000 yards passing. Co-winner of the Commitment to Excellence award.
2003 : Started in all 16 league games at left tackle…Was the only member of the offensive line to start every game…
2002 : Started in 15 league games at left tackle… Member of an offense that ranked first in the NFL in total offense. Blocked for NFL’s MVP quarterback Rich Gannon
2001 : Started in 15 league games at left tackle, helping the team pass for over (3800) yards including an AFC high 27 TD’s
2000 : Started 8 league games at left tackle, blocked for an offensive attack that led the NFL in rushing. Helped block for 1000 yard rusher Tyronne Wheatley.
1999 : Signed as a free agent during training camp and made squad as a reserve lineman. Broke into the starting lineup in his 5th game facing off against All Pro Bruce Smith. Spent the spring of 1999 in Europe after being selected in the 17th round of the NFL Europe League Draft by the Scottish Claymores
COLLEGE : Graduated from The University of Utah with a degree in Sociology. Also attended Dixie State College (St. George, Utah).
PERSONAL : Lettered in football, basketball and track at Park City (Utah) High School..All-League as a two-way lineman…In basketball, played forward and center and participated in track as a shot putter, high jumper, and long jumper. Barry is an avid golfer who also enjoys hiking, cycling, and skiing…Married to Shae Sims, they have a cat (Sierra) and a Dog (Riley).
Off the field, Barry and his wife Shae live in the San Francisco Bay Area with their animals and are very active in a variety of charitable activities, including Foster a Dream, which supports Northern California foster youth and Special Olympics of Northern California.
AA degree from Dixie State (St. George Utah)
BS Sociology From University of Utah (Salt Lake City)
Scottish Claymores (NFLEL)
NFL Seasons: 12
Games Played: 181
Games Started: 149
AFC Championship appearances: 2
Super Bowl appearance: 1
2005 Commitment to Excellence (exemplifies Pride and Spirit of Oakland Raiders)
2005 Business Times business All Stars 40 under 40
2004 Elected to Scottish Claymores Hall of Fame (only 20 Elected Members)