Simmons, a third-round pick out of Boston College, and Will Parks, a sixth-round pick from Arizona, are two members of the eight-man draft class that made the Broncos' initial 53-man roster. The two newest members of the "No Fly Zone" lived together in the team hotel from the beginning of rookie minicamp all the way through the end of preseason, and they've formed a pretty tight bond along the way.* *
*"Rookie Diaries" follows Simmons and Parks as they traverse their way through the season. Football will have a heavy impact on their years, but this space will also allow them to focus on their lives away from UCHealth Training Center. As they adjust to the realities of the NFL, this is their space to talk to each other and, in their words, reflect on life in the pros. *
Oct. 31, 2016 - Quite the Rush
Justin Simmons: The roughing the punter call was tough. You want to be aggressive. You want to go out there and make a play, and get your team's momentum going just like a big run or big pass or a turnover on defense. Special teams-wise, that's kind of the mindset that we carry week in and week out. But in the same breath, you've got to be smart. You're in the football game. At that point in time it was only 7-3.
Will Parks: Justin was being aggressive, which is something Coach D coaches us to do. We believe in Joe D. just like Joe D. believes in us. That's what it's all about, and that's what we play for.
The best shots of the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders at the Broncos' Halloween Extravaganza game vs. the Chargers.
JS:** Our defense did a great job of getting off the field, and like I said, you want to be aggressive. They'll never take that aggression away from you, but you can't put your defense back out on the field like that, especially against a vet like Philip Rivers who can move the football. Like great defenses do, they answered the bell. Roby got a pick-six, and I think I was his biggest fan after that. He definitely saved me after that one.
I came off to the sideline and Joe. D was like, next play.
WP: Justin was in later on a series for the dime package. I just saw him making a play, being a football player.
JS: We were trying to do a little bit of a disguise. I was kind of just playing a contain, blitz-type role. I just saw an opening and a crease and the back didn't flare out.
WP: Once the back gets engaged, he can go and sack Philip Rivers and that's what he did. He took advantage of one of his opportunities that coach always grades us on, and he's 1-for-1.
JS:It was all she wrote. I happened to get there just before he decided to tuck it and run and just pulled him down.
WP: It was real nice. I was more excited than he was when he got the sack. I was definitely happy that he was able to get his feet wet, go back out there and make some plays for us.
JS: I just remember getting up and celebrating. It felt good to get the defense off the field.
WP:** When I got my turn at the end of the game, it's just one of those things where you dream about being in the position where you can make a play for your team. That's the play that I was involved in and that's the play that I look forward to week in and week out. If I can do that and be on that No. 1 guy … I mean, Antonio Gates is going to be in the Hall of Fame. I'm definitely pleased with my performance on him, but obviously I've got to get better as far as my technique. That way, I can turn a PBU into a pick if we really, really need it.
At the start I was just trying to take away the inside. He's a crafty tight end. One of the best tight ends to ever play in this league. Period. But I was just trusting my technique. Obviously some of his moves off the line are kind of crazy. I call him Tim Duncan on the football field. He's one of those older guys that's been through so much. He can do a lot of things to get you off balance and step the wrong way. Like I said, I was grateful that the coaches trusted me and had confidence in me.
JS: As soon as the San Diego game was over, we broke it down, huge positive, we got the 'W', and then immediately after, everyone was talking about watching tape that night of Oakland. You talk about this rivalry and the Black Hole and how huge this game is – they're 6-2, we're 6-2.
WP: And it's a night game, too, right? This is a game I'm definitely going to be waiting for but at the same time, I'm going to prepare so much.
JS: This is the chance to take the lead in the division. So long story short it doesn't take much to know as a rookie that this is a pretty big game and that you're going to have to bring your 'A' game.
WP: I'm pretty sure they feel the same way about us that we do about them, but we're not the Raiders. We're the Denver Broncos. We're going to worry about us. We're going to worry about getting right for this game, and we're going to do everything we can to go out there and get the 'W'.