ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – With the Denver Broncos training camp underway soon, let’s take a look at how the Broncos line up at the safety position.
In the Hunt:
Douglas Coleman III, rookie
Alijah Holder, 1st season
Kareem Jackson, 11th season
P.J. Locke, 1st season
Trey Marshall, 2nd season
Justin Simmons, 5th season
Kahani Smith, rookie
Top Offseason Moves: Justin Simmons signed franchise tag. Lost Will Parks in Free Agency (Philadelphia Eagles).
Projected Starters: Kareem Jackson, Justin Simmons
Not too much needs to be said about this dynamic duo. Justin Simmons saw second-team All Pro honors last season as he led the Broncos with four interceptions last season. Simmons also didn’t miss a defensive snap for the second straight season. He will play on the franchise tag after not being able to agree to a long-term contract with the Broncos.
Kareem Jackson brings his hard hat to the secondary for the second year. He had 71 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble return for a touchdown last season. He was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his 11 tackles, interception and a fumble returning for a score against the Houston Texans last season.
Reserves: Douglas Coleman III, Alijah Holder, P.J. Locke, Trey Marshall, Kahani Smith
When Kareem Jackson was suspended for the final two games of the season, Trey Marshall took over his spot and had 16 tackles. Alijah Holder spent most of the season on the practice squad before being activated for the final two games and played on special teams.
Locke, Coleman III and Smith have not appeared in an NFL game.
Best Training Camp Battle: Battle for the 4th safety
With the Broncos carrying four safeties on the gameday roster, the battle for the final safety position will be between Holder, Locke, Coleman III and Smith. Only Holder has seen action in an NFL game.
Under the Radar: Trey Marshall solidifying 3rd safety position
With Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons cemented as the starters, Trey Marshall has a chance to improve as the third safety in the lineup. Kareem Jackson took notice of Marshall’s development during the final two games of the year.
“I’m very confident in what he can do,” Jackson said in a conference call on May 5. “He has a ton of talent. I think he showed that in the last two games. Going into Year 3, I think for him it’ll be great. He can go into camp and take some more steps and show some more signs so everybody else can be confident around him.”
Stats to Know:
– Justin Simmons has played every defensive snap for the past two seasons.
– Simmons led the team in interceptions for the second consecutive year.
What They Said: Kareem Jackson on what the defense needs to do better to reach its potential
“First and foremost, I always think tackling can get better. There are always some aspects in certain games in which you’ve missed tackles. I think we can always tackle better. Execution-wise, if you go back and look at some of the games and some of the close games that we lost, it might have been one or two plays here and there. You think about that Minnesota game when the second half defensively we just completely just lost our minds, so always execution, tackling, everybody just kind of on and in and paying attention to the little details and us all being on the same page secondary-wise.”
BRONCOS TRAINING CAMP: See All Of Justin Adams’ Position Breakdowns