With Chris Harris Jr. the lone remaining original member of the Denver Broncos “No Fly Zone,” the moniker is likely a thing of the past.
However, while the name may not be associated with the Broncos defensive backfield any longer, the level of performance may still remain.
“The Drive” co-host Tom Nalen said this week that in comparing the 2015 and 2016 Broncos secondary to the 2019 squad, one thing stands out: the safeties.
Just a few years ago, the centerfield for the Broncos defense was patrolled by veterans T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart. However, Denver clearly felt comfortable enough to move on from the defensive stalwarts in favor of up-and-coming talents Justin Simmons and Will Parks, Nalen said.
And along with potentially Su’a Cravens or a player unknown at this point, Nalen said it’s “not a stretch to think that we might have the equivalent of what we had then now.”
“… They let those guys go because of Will Parks and Simmons. I mean, they made the choice to move on from them because they felt like they had the replacements there,” Nalen said.
Nalen also said the success of Denver’s defensive backfield is directly tied to the production of its players up front. And by comparison, Zach Kerr, Derek Wolfe, Shelby Harris and company compare favorably to 2015’s crew of Sylvester Williams, Malik Jackson, and a younger Wolfe.
Conversely, “The Safety Blitz” host Nick Ferguson said Broncos Country can’t crown the current Denver secondary as the new “No Fly Zone” because “this defense hasn’t done anything yet.”
“We are basing everything on projections of what they could be,” Ferguson said.
However, Ferguson said that with strong years from All-Pro Von Miller and second-year pro Bradley Chubb, Denver could have itself a “top-five defense.”
“… All that depends on two guys. Those two guys are Von Miller and Bradley Chubb,” Ferguson said. “Keep those guys healthy, now we’re talking about immense pressure being placed on quarterbacks and they have to get the ball out.”