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St. Louis Rams’ Ed Simmons Retires

July 23, 1998

MACOMB, Ill. (AP) _ Ed Simmons, the last active member of the Washington Redskins’ ``Hogs″ offensive line, retired Wednesday, a day before he was due to report to training camp with St. Louis Rams.

Simmons, an 11-year veteran, signed with the Rams last month and was to enter camp Friday as the starter at left guard. He told coach Dick Vermeil on Wednesday he decided to stop playing due to problems with his right knee.

``The warrior in me wants to play, but my knee won’t let me,″ Simmons said.

Vermeil said he wasn’t shocked by the news about Simmons, 34.

``I can understand. All of a sudden when it comes right down to it and it isn’t there, you’d better not kid yourself,″ Vermeil said. ``Being realistic, he said he didn’t think he could do it anymore and I could appreciate it.

``Mentally and physically, he couldn’t go through another training camp.″

The 6-foot-5, 335-pound Simmons was drafted by Washington out of Eastern Washington in the sixth round of the 1987 draft. He started 106 games with Washington and played for two Super Bowl champions.

Simmons played tackle on one of the most heralded offensive lines of all time, teaming with Joe Jacoby, Russ Grimm, Mark May, Jeff Bostic and George Starke as a group dubbed ``The Hogs″ by Redskins coach Joe Gibbs.

The Redskins released Simmons in February and he signed a one-year, $550,000 deal with the Rams.

Ryan Tucker, a fourth-round pick last year who has been highly touted by Vermeil, moves to the top of the depth chart at left guard. Last season, Vermeil said that he thought Tucker could go to several Pro Bowls.

``We’ve bragged about Ryan Tucker for a long time,″ Vermeil said. ``I know he can block the run and now we’ve got to make sure he can block the pass.″

Tucker wasn’t getting too excited about the news.

``I’m not going to start doing backflips,″ Tucker said. ``I need competition right now, I don’t want to be given anything.

``Nothing’s given to anybody.″

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