Last season was a year of firsts for Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons.
For the first time in his career, Simmons became a full-time starter and rewarded the team with 46 tackles, two interceptions and a sack. One of those interceptions he returned for a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins.
As he enters his third season, he’s looking to cement his place in the starting lineup and help the Broncos get back into the playoffs for the first time in two seasons.
“The game slowed down a lot. It helps when you have veterans in the back end and up front guys that have been through it,” Simmons told Sports Spectrum. “A bunch of guys on the defensive side of the ball and offensive side are Super Bowl-caliber players. So me plugging into the back end has been easy because I am playing with Super Bowl-caliber players and Pro Bowlers. So it makes my job easier.”
Another first for Simmons was that he became a father. In May, Justin and his wife, Taryn, welcomed home their daughter, Laney Rae Simmons.
“It’s a blessing, it’s a blessing. That’s something that my wife and I have talked about for a long time just about when we are going to be ready and the Lord’s timing,” Simmons said. “… It was just super humbling. It’s a huge step obviously in our faith and just life in general. Raising a kid is no small task, but it’s just such a huge blessing. She’s been great so far and I can’t think the Lord enough.”
Stepping into fatherhood has also changed the way Simmons lives his life for Christ, making him more intentional about his faith.
“It’s been unbelievable. I mean, I feel like I need to be more prepared almost like I’m preaching every Sunday. Like, I need to be more in tune to the Word. I need to be more in tune in my own prayers so that I can lead first-hand with my wife, with my little daughter. It’s been a huge blessing because it’s forced me to be more in tune with my faith and more in tune with my relationship with God,” Simmons said.
Even though Simmons has only been a dad for just over a month, he still has much wisdom to offer for future fathers.
“You’re going to make mistakes. She’s going to be crying and not everything is going to be perfect. Not everything is going to work out the way that you want,” he said with a grin.
“Also what runs through my head is that it’s OK to date another Christian boy,” he added. “It’s not a bad thing to be in courtship with another good Christian guy. That something that will be tough for me because I don’t have girls. I had two younger brothers so I don’t know anything about girls. And so I’m going to need big help in that aspect when it gets there.”
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