Following a successful first day of #BroncosOTAs, Monday’s press conference was attended by Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett, quarterback Russell Wilson, and safety Justin Simmons. Simmons was first asked what it’s like to compete against Russell Wilson on the field.
“Our offense—I’ve always said that they’ve always been special, and I thought that prior to Russ,” he explained, noting that Wilson’s presents elevates this to another level, “You always have to be locked in and then Russ just brings in a whole other element. The way he commands the offense, they get to the line fast.”
Simmons described the quarterback reading through their secondary on multiple occasions. “There are times where we’re breaking our shell as a defense a little early, so he’s figuring out pre-snap where he wants to go with the ball. It’s clean, it’s quick, it’s crisp, so it’s fun. I love it. It’s the game within the game.”
The safety believes this will not only continue to be fun, but also make their defense more air-tight in the upcoming year.
Wilson’s ability to scramble, particularly in the red zone, is “great” for the Broncos’ secondary according to Simmons. He goes on to name the AFC West’s embarrassment of riches in scrambling quarterbacks, considering they’re going to have to stack up against them very soon.
“It seems like the game each and every year is just elevating more and more to quarterbacks that are more mobile and can extend plays with their legs,” he went on, “Especially in the red zone because it’s not about the length, but the width and you can get open. All you need is separation and with a guy like Russ who can extend plays like that.”
The veteran free safety made it clear that, despite his choice to attend voluntary workouts, he doesn’t judge players for skipping them. He was also quick to point out that Kareem Jackson’s absence was because he attended his daughter’s graduation. I’m not certain, but I think that’s arguably a valid excuse for missing a workout.
“As a leader, I’m really big on protecting your space and doing what’s right for you,” Simmons explained, “I’ll never question that. This is voluntary, I’m not going to question other things that are going on.”
Simmons thinks it’s important for players to show up and put in the work, noting that it might not be as necessary to participate in every single workout next year, if the system is the same and a player has it down well.
“But a new defensive system, new offensive system, new teammates, and a new culture. I think that it’s important to be around and to be present,” he admitted, then reaffirmed his support for the whole team, those present for voluntary workouts or not.
“Maybe there’s times you need to take a week off or whatever else and handle personal matters. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life,” he insisted, “With that being said, I do think that it is important to be here.”
“There’s a lot of new things going on and we haven’t won in a while, so looking forward to winning and that obviously starts now.”