Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson keep building

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson can communicate quickly and then spring into action.

That’s been their job on the football field over the past four seasons playing next to each other and they’ve formed a tight bond doing it at a high level.

They realized recently they perhaps missed an assignment off the field, or at least an opportunity, and set about rectifying it quickly.

The result came together last weekend when the pair co-hosted a youth football camp at Aurora Central High School.

“For me, just getting the chance to team up with Justin and his foundation to do something in the city that supports us on a daily basis, we know how loved we are here in the Denver community,” Jackson said. “So to be able to bring a camp here through our foundations, it’s probably something that we should have been doing.”

Simmons said that realization meant a very short conversation before planning began.

“Literally, that was the convo,” he said. “Maybe a few weeks before we actually put out the dates for today at Aurora Central, it really was that simple. Nothing that you see in the media or on social media is fake. That’s my brother and, like he said, we should have been doing this for a while now.

“Hopefully this is something we can do for a while.”

As the pair stood shoulder-to-shoulder and talked with reporters before the camp started and then headed out to the field to work, it was easy to sense the uncommon nature of their partnership.

NFL players host camps regularly. They spend a ton of time with each other during the season. But not many pairs get to play together as often and for as long as Jackson and Simmons have in Denver.

Free agency prevents it. Injuries prevent it. The short, fleeting nature of many professional careers and the constant churn of personnel in an unforgiving league prevent it.

But there were Simmons and Jackson, together on a hot morning in Colorado, weeks away from entering their fifth training camp together.

They’ve started 56 games next to each other over the past four seasons. Every time the Broncos have stepped on the field since a Sept. 9, 2019, loss to the Oakland Raiders, one or both have started. In 84.8% of the games, they’ve done so together. Each has only missed five games in the past four years — Jackson three in 2019 and two in 2021 and Simmons five last year.

It was no sure bet that they’d be back together this season and Jackson will still have to win a starting job in his 14th training camp, but the Broncos brought him back this summer on a one-year deal using a version of the NFL’s veteran salary benefit. Because Jackson’s played four straight seasons for Denver, they could pay him a base salary of $2.515 million plus a $152,000 signing bonus and he only counts $1.318 million against the salary cap — the veteran minimum plus the bonus amount.

Jackson, 35, told The Post in January that he feels like he’s got “a ton of gas left” and wants to play at least two more seasons. Simmons, 29, has two seasons left on the four-year, $61 million extension he signed in the spring of 2021 but no guaranteed money left after this season.

A Saturday in early July, though, was no time to consider that even the best runs eventually come to an end. Instead, the safety pair was busy talking about how they’ve continued learning from each other regarding community work in addition to all of the lessons on the field and in other areas of life.

“It’s amazing to see,” Jackson said of Simmons’ long list of charitable endeavors. “We know how he impacts the community here with all his philanthropy work. … It’s inspiring for me to come in and want to do the same thing with my foundation whether it’s camps or different things.”

Said Simmons of Jackson, “Just learning from him, seeing what works and what didn’t work. He’s been around, he’s seen what worked and what didn’t work and I’m getting small pieces of advice here and there.”

By the time the pair wrapped up with reporters, waiting on the flanks were fellow safeties Caden Sterns and P.J. Locke — perhaps the next two on Denver’s depth chart — and second-year cornerback Damarri Mathis. Simmons made sure to point out that All-Pro cornerback Pat Surtain II was hosting a camp the next day along with running back Javonte Williams.

If having a tight-knit group counts for anything in the NFL, the Broncos’ secondary will benefit again this year, in large part thanks to Simmons and Jackson.


Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Web Times is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – webtimes.uk. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a Comment