The Denver Broncos are embracing a new era at the safety position that doesn’t feature Justin Simmons. After the team’s difficult decision to move on from the veteran safety this offseason, newcomer Brandon Jones, P.J. Locke, and Caden Sterns will be the mainstays at the position.

Denver Broncos safety Brandon Jones still has a chip on his shoulder

To make it one season in the NFL is an impressive feat, but to make it into a fifth-season is a blessing and one that doesn’t come without hard work, sacrifice, and change.

The Denver Broncos embraced change this offseason when they had to move on from Justin Simmons, who has led the NFL in total interceptions since 2016, largely in part due to the ripple effects of Russell Wilson’s contract.

In an effort to bolster the safety room, the Broncos signed Brandon Jones to a contract during NFL free agency, making the backend of that room a Texas Longhorn reunion.

Jones, Caden Sterns, and P.J. Locke all played safety at the University of Texas and maintained a special bond.

“Yes, especially just being a free agent,” Jones said of his interactions with Locke and Sterns before signing with the team. “Throughout the whole process, anybody I had connections with at any team in the league, I was kind of picking their brains and seeing what kind of scheme they run. For sure with those two guys. I got into it with them, just tried to learn the defense to see what the similarities and differences were and that sort of stuff.”

During the first week of OTAs, Jones received a large bulk of reps wearing the #22 and appeared like he was fitting in seamlessly.

Despite being a fifth-year veteran, Jones told local media on Thursday that he still feels like he has a lot to prove and conducts himself in that manner.

“I would just say personally, just my overall mentality. I know I’m going on my fifth year now, but I still attack every day like I’m a rookie,” Jones told us during OTAs. “I have something to prove to myself, prove to my teammates. Whether it’s practice, a game, lifting weights, whatever it is, I’m going full speed and I’m trying to show guys [that] this is what you have to do in order to have the success you want to have.”

In his four seasons in the NFL, he’s accumulated 238 career tackles, eight sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and hopes to build off of his impressive year last season as a member of the Miami Dolphins.

Jones is going to play a pivotal role for Denver this season where he, Locke, and Sterns will each play multiple roles at the position, requiring them to play the post-safety role covering the middle of the field, and dropping down into the box.

“I’m always looking for growth in every aspect of my game,” Jones mentioned. “Whether it’s blitzing, man coverage, playing high, anything. Just trying to prove to everybody and my teammates that I can do whatever I need to do and whatever the coaches need me to do.”