ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Justin Simmons’ daughter ran into her father’s bedroom this morning with some great news: Dad had just been named as a second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.
“I woke up to my daughter and my wife in the room giving me a hug and that’s when they told me about the All-Pro honors and it was awesome,” Broncos safety Justin Simmons told CBS4.
He becomes the fifth safety in team history to earn All-Pro honors, joining Steve Atwater, Brian Dawkins, Dennis Smith and Billy Thompson.
“To put my name up there, the only word that comes to mind is it’s humbling and it’s a tremendous honor,” Simmons said. “Obviously, I have the upmost confidence in who I am and my abilities and what I bring to the football field … With that being said, to be recognized in the same realm as those guys, it’s just a humbling experience.
“It makes you really thankful for just the opportunity to play the game that you love and to reap some of the benefits of putting so much hard work into it.”
The free safety was the only Broncos player named as a first or second-team All-Pro. This is the first time Simmons has been named an All-Pro in his four-year career, and he made the list despite not being named to the Pro Bowl as a starter or an alternate.
Simmons joins Valor Christian High School star and Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, who earned first-team All-Pro honors at running back and as the top flex player.
Simmons led the Broncos with four interceptions, 15 passes defensed and tied for second on the team with 93 tackles. He also played in every defensive play for the second consecutive season.
“He played great for us,” Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio said on Monday, noting that Simmons is “still at the stage of his career where he can still improve more, especially within the inner workings of our defense and mastering some of the things we do even better.
Simmons is “really a good football player, a really good person and a really good teammate. He’s everything we want in a player,” Fangio added.
He is also one of the top players the Broncos will look to resign in the offseason, and Broncos President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway said the team is looking to sign Simmons to a “long-term” deal.
“We want him back,” Elway said on Monday. “You know the options there. Before we came down, I talked to Justin and said, ‘You know what, we want you back.’ He’s a great football player, but he’s a better man. What he does outside of this building and what’s done in Denver has been tremendous.”