J.C. Harper Q&A

Following a recent practice Broncos Illustrated caught up with Defensive Coordinator J.C. Harper for a brief interview. Read on to find out how he thinks the defense is progressing this spring, and whom he thinks is stepping up their play.

How do you think the team has been progressing on defense so far this spring?

I think they're progressing well; we've really practiced everyday as hard as we could practice. We're running with the football, flying around, and having fun doing it. I think everyday has been productive; I think we're developing some leaders. That's what we're here for, getting tough and getting physical.

How has Oseloka Keys' transition to the defensive side of the ball been?

It's going to take some time to make that transition, but the good thing is he's got the attitude to want to do that and to work hard; the attitude to want to learn and to excel at that position, so I think he's excited about it and that helps a lot.

Do you think Keys will make an impact this fall?

I think if he keeps maturing and keeps doing what he's doing, there's a lot of time between now and then, and we wouldn't have moved him over if we didn't think he could help us in some way.

How has it been to have players like Josh Behrens and Shawntey Lopez back from injury at this point?

Tremendous. Especially Shawntey and Josh coming back gives us two healthy bodies. They're still recovering in a sense; Lopez with an Achilles is a tough one to recover from but the trainer says he's full go so he's done well. And Josh's leadership and knowledge of what we're doing and playing in games before, the chemistry is really good there.

How do replace the production of guys like Jason Babin and Jason Feldpausch who had such great seasons last year?

You don't replace a guy [Jason Babin] who's going to be a second or third round draft pick. I hope that Jack Gitler, or Ernest Osborne, or Erik Oleson, or Paul Moersch or maybe all four of them can collectively step up and replace one guy. Jason Feldpausch was such a smart player and really played that position well. We're going to miss both those guys a lot. Hopefully we'll have some guys step up and that's why we're practicing and we'll see what happens.

What young players that haven't contributed before are stepping up this spring?

You notice guys like Darryl McFadden, he's a guy that makes a lot of plays. You notice a guy who's not new but in a new position in Scott Robinson. DeRae Allen gets better everyday. Mark Hardy gets better everyday. The guy that stands out the most when you talk about a young guy is Darrell Copeland; Darrell Copeland is improving everyday. There's a little bit in every spot, and it's just an overall effort.

Broncos Illustrated Top Stories