Inscrit le: 18 Aoû 2017
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|Posté le: Lun 12 Fév - 03:45 (2018) Sujet du message: The Broncos’ youth movement at safety, led by Justin Simmons
|Authentic Whitney Mercilus Jersey, could pay dividends after encouraging signs in 2017
One of the first texts Justin Simmons received April 29,womens Will Fuller V Jersey, 2016,womens Ryan Kelly Jersey, moments after he was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the Broncos,womens T.J. Green Jersey, came from veteran safety T.J. Ward.
Ward,womens Le'Raven Clark Jersey, whose stellar performance less than three months earlier had helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50,womens Phillip Dorsett Jersey, Simmons said,womens Henry Anderson Jersey, was reaching out with welcoming arms to the new kid at the position. Right away, Ward took on the role of an “older brother figure” for the rookie. And Simmons was eager to soak up any morsel he could.
“He gave me the ins and outs of the defense by helping me out with my eyes and just discipline at the safety position,” Simmons said. “He showed me what it takes to be a Pro Bowl safety year in and year out like he was.”
So when Ward was released by the Broncos 16 months later — just before the start of Simmons’ second season in the NFL — the young player out of Boston College was conflicted. He knew the impact Ward had on the locker room because it was an impact Simmons himself felt significantly. But the competitor drumming inside of him was ready, both to become a starter at safety and to fill some of Ward’s role as a trusted locker room voice.
“It was tough in that aspect,” Simmons said of losing Ward, ” … but in the same token, I have the utmost trust in my ability and what I can bring to the team. Obviously,womens Whitney Mercilus Jersey, the end of the season didn’t go the way I wanted it to go as far as the ankle injury went,Authentic Will Fuller V Jersey, but I still feel like there is so much I can build on and help bring to the football team.”
In a 2017 season of dark clouds for the Broncos,Authentic Ryan Kelly Jersey, one of the few silver linings was the growth and impact of Simmons,Authentic T.J. Green Jersey, who looked at times in 2017 like a player who could have Pro Bowl nods in his future. His Pro Football Focus grade of 80.2 was fourth among all AFC West safeties behind Jahleel Addae (83.5) and Tre Boston (81.4) of the Chargers and Karl Joseph (80.8) of the Raiders. He led a youth movement at the safety position in Denver this season that featured 2016 sixth-round pick Will Parks stepping into a larger role,Authentic Le'Raven Clark Jersey, undrafted rookie Jamal Carter making strides after making the team out of training camp and fellow undrafted player Dymonte Thomas making the most of a late-season audition.
“With all of the experience with T.J. leaving,Authentic Phillip Dorsett Jersey,” defensive coordinator Joe Woods said in late December,Authentic D'Joun Smith Jersey, “I felt like those guys stepped up and filled that role.”
Simmons led the charge. He finished with 63 tackles, 1? sacks,womens D'Joun Smith Jersey, even after difficult losses,Authentic Henry Anderson Jersey,two interceptions and a touchdown in essentially 12 games. He suffered a high-ankle sprain early in Denver’s Week 14 win over the Jets and was then placed on season-ending injured reserve. As much as he blossomed in his role as a starter — he almost never came off the field — he also become a steady voice in the locker room amid Denver’s torrential struggles. His willingness to be the first player to address reporters, helped earn him the team’s Darrent Williams Good Guy Award.
The award is given annually to the Bronco who best exemplifies Williams’ enthusiasm,womens Malik Hooker Jersey, cooperation and honesty while dealing with members of the press, and for Simmons it was a reflection of his desire to carry some of the heavy weight Ward had left behind.Authentic Malik Hooker Jersey,