Justin Simmons exemplified being a Denver Bronco

Year is 2016 and Denver Broncos accomplished winning Super Bowl at Levi Stadium for their third Super Bowl in team history. Also that year Broncos decided to look to future at secondary drafting a safety from Boston College named Justin Simmons. 

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

Justin Simmons learned from two other great safeties already on the roster in TJ Ward and Darian Stewart. Both of whom were well regarded in the “No Fly Zone.” It didn’t take long for Simmons to fly into the conversation as a starter when he was a Denver Bronco.

He would later take the reins from Ward becoming a starter in 2017. From there, Simmons immediately let the entire world know he had God-given traits making him one of the more athletically gifted safeties the league has seen. In a game versus the then Oakland Raiders, EJ Manuel threw a pass intended for Amari Cooper. Simmons, using all of his nearly 6-foot-3 frame, high-pointed the ball jumping higher than Cooper for the interception. This was the defining moment for me recognizing Denver had its next great safety. 

After the 2017 season, Simmons became a true “Iron Man” at safety. From 2018-2021 Simmons never missed a single game. Let that sink for a moment. He became arguably the most durable safety in the league and a fast riser to NFL stardom.

Simmons’ presence on the field was a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks registering the most interceptions since 2016. One of his most memorable will have to be the interceptions versus the Miami Dolphins to seal the victory or his interception near the Demaryius Thomas logo versus the Lions. A game Broncos players and fans will remember forever. He even struck fear into the heart of the current game’s best quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. No safety has intercepted Mahomes more than Simmons.

Let it be known that Simmons does not have just interceptions on his resume. He has been well-regarded as one of the best-tackling safeties in the entire NFL. His range was not just on display for turnovers but for hitting holes as quick as anyone to bring down the ball carrier. He was a smart tackler who also knew when it was needed to become the enforcer as well for defense.

By the end of his Broncos tenure, Simmons proved to be the best safety in the National Football League. Simmons finished with 30 interceptions, 443 tackles, four All-Pros, and surprisingly only two Pro Bowls. He will go down as arguably one of the best safeties to wear the Orange and Blue as a Denver Bronco. If you ask most Broncos’ fans they will probably say he’s right behind Steve Atwater. 

Simmons did not just embody what it meant to be a Denver Bronco on the field, but off the field also. He once told me early on that “obviously football means a lot to me and I want to be super successful for the fan base and to help my team bring another championship. But living a life where I can introduce the relationship with Christ  that I have experienced to others is my ultimate goal.” Simply put Simmons was here to save souls and win Super Bowls. Unfortunately winning a Super Bowl or playoff appearances never happened in Denver, but the impact he made will last a lifetime for so many fans such as myself. 

He became a major voice and leader as a Denver Bronco in the community standing up to injustice and impacting our youth. It was in 2020 when he and his wife Taryn set up the Justin Simmons Foundation to continue to inspire the youth of today and other charitable causes. Simmons would be recognized by the team as a multiple representative as a Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate and the first three-time Darrent Williams Good Guy award winner. 

Next. Worst Contracts. Broncos' worst contracts following Justin Simmons' release. dark

Simmons has left a legacy not just on the football field but the lives he continues to touch off the field also. This is why he is the embodiment of being a Denver Bronco.