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Justin Simmons says the addition of Su’a Cravens has opened up the defensive playbook for the Broncos

The Broncos defense will be more versatile in 2018.

Broncos safety Justin Simmons joined Orange and Blue 760’s Andrew Mason, Ryan Edwards, and Steve Atwater after practice today and talked about multiple topic. One topic they covered was the versatility Joe Woods defense will have this upcoming season.

Simmons specifically noted the addition of safety/linebacker Su’a Cravens will allow them to do more things than before. He says his coverage ability and versatility to play multiple positions at a high level allows them to play him all over and rush different people at different times.

Cravens has been dealing with an injury recently, but the former second-round pick who the Broncos acquired this offseason from Washington should be a key member of this defense. His ability to cover running backs and matchup against tight ends like Travis Kelce is something the Broncos defense desperately needed.

Simmons also mentioned that Von, Chubb, Ray, and Shaq allow them to do more blitz packages this upcoming season. I wouldn’t be shocked if Woods has a package where all four of these pass rushers are on the field at the same time. That NASCAR package would be my go-to every third and long this defense has. You could always sub in a Derek Wolfe, Shelby Harris, or DeMarcus Walker too. The pass rush potential from this defense is immense. Especially if the offense gives them a lead.

NFL: Denver Broncos-Training Camp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Orange and Blue 760’s Steve Atwater asked Simmons about him potentially playing some slot like he did last season. Simmons mentioned that having Chris Harris Jr. who is “the best slot corner in the league” around helps him because he is an amazing mentor. He goes on to say that he is comfortable in that position if needed and is willing to play the deep middle or box safety if needed as well.

Now with all that said, Atwater brings up an excellent point. Simmons is a safety for a reason and is probably the fifth best corner on the team so the team needs the young guys(rookie Isaac Yiadom and Brendan Langley) to step up so Simmons can focus on playing safety/deep middle.

I know Training Camp is filled with positivity and excitement for all 32 teams, but I truly feel like this Broncos team can be very good in 2018. The offense seems re-energized with Case Keenum under center with multiple exciting rookies. They should be an explosive unit capable of putting up points with the best of them. Now, the defense figures to be more versatile with multiple different blitz packages utilizing this strong front seven?

I’m excited.