Justin Simmons, Broncos prep for two dynamic Seahawks wide receivers
The Seattle Seahawks ran the fewest plays in the NFL last season as their offense struggled, and that was with Russell Wilson.
Now without the star quarterback, the Seahawks will have to figure out an attack that threatens the Denver Broncos when the teams square off on Monday Night Football. Broncos captain safety Justin Simmons isn’t taking the challenge lightly, even though it may seem like an easy one.
On Thursday, he spoke to the media about the importance of the Broncos coming home from Washington with a win for Wilson and for the team to start their season right.
“It’s going to mean a lot to Russ going to back to where he’s won so many games,” He said. “[We’re] looking forward to adding one more, but on our end.”
Wilson offers the Broncos valued insight into two challenging wide receivers. The quarterback used to link up plenty with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and Simmons wants Wilson’s consolation.
“It puts a lot of pressure on the defense,” Simmons said of the deep threats. “Seattle runs that ball really well. That’s what helps set up the play-action pass. We have to be able to stop the run.”
“They’re the best at running those two-man routes, maybe outside. They do such a good job of finding ways to get open. We’ve seen that for so many years, and everyone knows going in there, you have to eliminate the big plays with DK and Lockett. Then, someway, somehow, they always find a way to squeeze a shot in. That’s going to be a challenge for us in the secondary. A lot of communication. I talk about that week in and week out, and it’s going to be on full display on Monday night in order for us to execute.”
Throwing to Metcalf and Lockett is last year’s backup, journeyman Geno Smith. The veteran won the job over Drew Lock, who Denver swapped in the Wilson trade. Smith has made 34 starts in his decade-long NFL career, with his best season coming with the Jets just out of college. A backup since, this is likely Smith’s last chance at a starting job.
“Geno [Smith] is a great quarterback. When he drops back, a lot of the times he knows exactly what he’s getting,” Simmons said. “When you have a good running game, which Seattle has, it makes your timing passes that much more important. For him when he’s out there, he’s got that mental clock and DK and Lockett do such a good job of getting open. Now, [they’re] adding a wrinkle in with [Seahawks TE] Noah [Fant]. [I’ve] known him for a long time [and he’s] a great tight end in this league. He adds an extra layer to their pass game and it’s going to be a challenge for us in the backend.”
Smith being the starer adds the additional wrinkle of maybe not knowing exactly what Seattle will run, but Simmons isn’t worried about that part of it.
“I wouldn’t say it makes it difficult. It’s just different,” he said. “When you’re preparing for a guy like Russ there’s obviously those first few seconds of a play, but a lot of times, what makes quarterbacks like Russ so special is that fact of the next three, four, five or six seconds of the play where everything is prolonged. He’s making something out of nothing. I think that’s the toughest part to really gameplan for. Geno has a little bit of that. Not to the same extent, but he can extend plays with his legs. He’s a great runner, and he can run after—if things break down, he can run if he needs to [and] he can throw guys open.”