Justin Simmons on fixing ‘eyes violation’ and facing Giants

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The Denver Broncos come out of their Week 5 bye with a favorable matchup, facing the winless New York Giants, but second-year safety Justin Simmons knows that even a depleted Giants receiving corps can be problematic if the Broncos don’t fix some of the problems that have hurt the defense in the early part of the season. Simmons used his off week to do some self-scouting and make improvements, specifically what he calls “eyes violation.”

“Bye week was good,” Simmons told Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7. “Time to relax, reflect, self-scout and get your body right, even though it was only four games, but it was good.”

Denver is off to a 3-1 start and allowing a league-best 260.8 yards per game on defense. Still, the “No Fly Zone” has been prone to giving up some uncharacteristic big plays through the first four games – something Simmons says the secondary is set on fixing.

“We saw a lot,” Simmons said when asked what the self-scouting revealed during the bye week. “Obviously there were a lot of posistives but there was some big-play stuff that you want to eliminate from the defense to put us in a better position. There was a lot of stuff on there, we always eyes violation and things like that. There’s a lot of eyes violation stuff that is easily fixable.”

Eyes violation may not be a common term to casual football observers, so Simmons explained:

“You’re just in coverage, whether it be zone or man, you get caught up in the offenses like fancy dressing as far as motions or formation. It’s all to try and get you to look away from what your true responsibility is and there were a few times that we got caught in that. That’s what we mean by eyes violation.”

Simmons and the Denver defense faces a two-time Super Bowl winner on Sunday night in Eli Manning, but the veteran quarterback will be without any of his primary passing targets. New York will be without Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard this week after all three suffered injuries in a Week 4 home loss to the Chargers.

Although the Giants will be shorthanded, Simmons and the defense won’t look past this week’s opponent.

“The great thing about this team and especially the defense is we have the same mentality we in and week out no matter who we are playing,” Simmons said. “Obviously we want to go up against the best and it sad to see that guy are down. Hopefully they are going to be alright but we are not looking at it like oh they are down it’s going to be an easy week. Everybody is in the league is in the league for a reason. We know that the guys stepping up for them, they are going to come and try to win their first game in Denver. That’s the attitude that they are going to have. We are going to have the same attitude whether OBJ or whoever is on the field we are going to make sure that we carry that mentality because we got to win the one’s at home. Those are the one’s that are the most important.”

The Giants are 0-5 this season, but coming off an 11-5 campaign that punched their ticket to the postseason. Simmons is well aware that a team desperate for a win can be dangerous. He says that won’t allow Denver to play desperately, themselves.

“Any team that doesn’t have a win and coming in, they are going to be desperate. I don’t know if desperation for us is the right word. I would just say that we’re ready to prove that we are one of the top teams in the league. In order to do that, you got to win week in and week out especially against tough oppenents. Let’s not forget that this team is the same team last year that beat Dallas twice and was supposed to be the contender for the NFC east this year so they have a bunch of potential. They may not be all falling into place right now but we got to make sure that that doesn’t happen to us.”

Click here to listen to the full interview with Justin Simmons, or listen in the podcast below.

Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.

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