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Q&A With Assistant Secondary Coach Sam Garnes

Posted Jun 29, 2013

Assistant Secondary Coach Sam Garnes talks about what he's seen out of the safeties this offseason.

Editor’s note: DenverBroncos.com sat down with the assistant coaches to talk about their position groups before the coaches left Dove Valley for vacations in mid-June.

What have you seen in your group with the addition of Quentin Jammer?
“With the whole group, we have a bunch of guys right now that are in the mix to be able to help us. We’ve upgraded our talent and as we move along, we’ll get to see what guys like Jammer can do. It’s his first time in the system so you can’t expect too much from him right now, but you can see the veteran savvy that he has.”

Have you been able to see Jammer's abilities at both safety and corner during OTAs and minicamp?
“Yeah, he played safety in college and of course he played corner all those years in San Diego. So you see sometimes when he’s coming down on a run you can see that he has a little safety background because he fits it pretty good. As a corner, already he was known as an aggressive corner, so I don’t think it’s going to be too big of a jump for him to play safety too.”

What does Jammer’s versatility add to the secondary?
“It adds depth and with one person you kind of add two people – so to speak. When you have a guy that can play corner and safety, and not just someone that you would like to be able to play corner but plays safety – he played corner his whole career and he definitely has the savviness to play safety. He understands football. He understands the routes you get, combinations and he’s just learning what we do. That’s the only thing holding him back right now."

With the way tight ends are used more frequently now, does a player like Jammer – who’s physical and has cover skills – important?
“No doubt. The way tight ends are used now – when I played you had big tight ends that were blockers, now you have big tight ends that can run and can run routes and they make it tougher for little corners to cover because once he catches there’s no guarantee to make the tackle. So a guy like Quentin Jammer who’s physical by nature and with his cover skills, it definitely lends a helping hand in getting guys like that covered.”

What have you seen from David Bruton this offseason?
”Every year that I’ve been here he’s improved slightly every year. And this year he made a big jump. He wants to be on the field and (Defensive Coordinator) Jack (Del Rio) is the type of guy along with (Secondary Coach) Cory (Undlin) and myself, who will give guys opportunity to play that can help us win. If he can help us win then he’ll be on the field.”

How did Rahim Moore improve from year one to year two?
“He’s a much better tackler. His rookie year, he struggled in the tackling department and he went 180 degrees as far as tackling. He did a great job tackling, which I know contributed to us being pretty good against the run – not having those big runs for the most part. I think that was his biggest jump.”

Do you expect another big jump this season from Moore?
“Yeah, you would expect he’d have more confidence. One thing with Rahim is, he’s the type of guy that you expect to be around the ball and I think he knows that. I think this is the year we would like to see him – he would like to see himself – make that jump as far as having his hands on the ball multiple times during a game, whether its catching it or breaking it up.”

What makes Chris Harris so good at playing outside and inside cornerback positions and safety?
“You hear the two words, football player, and that’s what he is. He’s a football player. He can play any area. He rises to any challenge. He’s a competitor and that’s what you want in your football player. He’s always the guy that if you don’t know who he is, he’s going to be one of the last guys picked which he was (as a college free agent). But he’s going to be one of the top guys picked now. If we had a draft on our team, our defense, he’d be one of the top two, three guys picked off our team. He is everything you want as a coach."

How does the competition for playing time within the secondary help everyone’s game?
“If you want to play, you’re going to have to rise to the top. So the competition – we’ve got young guys like Duke Ihenacho, who is out there having a great offseason for us so far. He’s a guy I look at last year, during the preseason he went out there and played and there was nothing timid about him. He went out there and played fast. He was young, didn’t know exactly what to do as much. But now, he’s dedicated his offseason to jumping out in our eyes as someone that can go out there and play for us.”

Has having Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio back for a second year helped the younger players?
“Well it really helps because he’s a good coach. He’s a good coach, has a good system and when you have a guy like that that returns and commands the respect that he does, that gives us the opportunity to go out there and not only duplicate but try to improve on what we did last year.”