After trading away All-Pro cornerback and Super Bowl 50 champion Aqib Talib, the Denver Broncos had some holes to fill in their secondary coming into training camp this summer. Broncos safety Justin Simmons joined Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 to discuss the Broncos’ new-look secondary and the rookies that have been turning heads at training camp.
In past seasons, training camp coverage of the Broncos has been focused around the team’s outstanding defense instead of its underwhelming offense. But now, after a couple of seasons, the offense is earning more attention under new quarterback Case Keenum. When asked whether he thinks this means their team is now more balanced than past seasons, Broncos safety Justin Simmons replied, “Oh, for sure. I mean, being a safety out there and having to read offensive formations and route concepts and things like that, you can just tell that each day that’s gone by — from OTAs all the way up until third day of training camp — you can just see the progression.”
“You can see the progression of trust from the O-line to Case to the running backs to ‘DT’ [Demaryius Thomas] and ‘E’ [Emmanuel Sanders] and the rest of the receivers to the tight ends.”
With the offense finally finding its identity, it’s challenged the Denver defense, forcing them to improve, as well. “We’re getting really great looks, we’re getting challenging looks, things that we see during the season that we’re going to see guys in our division… So we’re really looking forward to keep competing,” Simmons said.
Regarding the overhauled secondary in the wake of Talib’s departure, Simmons, who replaced T.J. Ward last season, showed confidence in cornerback Bradley Roby. “It’s kind of the same conversation when T.J. left — there’s no replacing someone like Aqib, but with that being said Roby has been with Aqib and Chris [Harris Jr.] ever since he’s gotten here to Denver. He’s learned from them, he’s been under the reps, he’s been in the big games, he was here for the Super Bowl 50.”
Simmons moved on to the team’s highly touted rookie receivers, Courtland Sutton and DeSean Hamilton. “They’re just raw athletes. Courtland is a freak; those 50/50 balls are more like 70/30 for him, Simmons says. “DeSean — in the slot, he’s as smooth as they come. A crisp route runner, he knows where he’s going… it almost seems effortless.”
Click here to listen to the full interview with Justin Simmons, including his thoughts on Thomas and Sanders’ production this season and Goodman and Shapiro’s thoughts on the Bronco’s interceptions numbers this season.
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