Our series of offseason interviews continues with new Broncos defensive lineman Justin Bannan (JB), who signed with Denver after playing for the Baltimore Ravens for the past four seasons. Bannan is 6’3″ tall and weighs 310 pounds. He spent his first four years in the league with the Buffalo Bills.
850 KOA had the chance to speak with the former Colorado Buffalo.
850 KOA: You’ve played with Buffalo for four years and Baltmore for four seasons. How great is it to be back home?
JB: You have no idea. I have freedom for once. I’m glad to be back out here away from the East Coast. I couldn’t be happier.
850 KOA: The Ravens have been a pretty good team and tough on defense. What sold you on the opportunity to play for the Broncos?
JB: I think what sold me was defensive coordinator Don Martindale and my D-line coach, Wayne Nunnely. Looking at the approach they’re going to take, the type of defense they’re going to have and what they’re looking for, I just felt like it was a perfect fit. Coach Martindale is a Rex Ryan guy (in) his attitude and what he’s all about, and so am I. We’re going to have that same type of philosophy and same type of defense. I’m really excited.
850 KOA: The Broncos really went after you and wanted you here, even though you seemed to have a good time playing with the Ravens.
JB: I had a great experience playing in Baltimore. (They’re) a lot of great people and great friends there. But it’s really nice to come here to a team that really did put the full-court press on me and they really did want me. It’s nice to feel appreciated like that.
850 KOA: With Jamal Williams, a true nose tackle, on the roster, the Broncos can slide you out to an end position if they want to. Does it matter to you where the Broncos will start you when training camp begins, at nose tackle or defensive end?
JB: It doesn’t matter to me. Now that he’s here (Williams), I probably won’t be playing the majority of time at the nose. I really don’t know how it’s all going to shake out. Wherever they want to put me is fine with me. I’m happy to do whatever it takes and be a guy who plays outside or inside.
850 KOA: What has made the Ravens’ defense so special for so long?
JB: We took a lot of pride in our craft. You had a group of guys that were just tough. That’s the only way I can put it. (They’re) guys that wouldn’t back down from any kind of challenge, any adverse situation. We almost thrived in them. That’s the attitude you gotta have to have a great defense. Anything that’s going on, you have to just love it. That’s the kind of attitude the Ravens had. You look at the last ten years and they rank number one in almost every category. It’s a special place and there is a whole lot of pride over there, starting with Ray Lewis. (It’s a) very unselfish group. The d-line was a very close-knit group. Everyone was good friends and everybody played for one another.
850 KOA: A lot of people are glad you’re in town. Thanks for your time.
JB: Thank you very much.
Next time, we’ll feature another one of the Broncos’ new defensive linemen. Thanks for reading and feel free to share your thoughts on the Broncos moves along the defensive front this offseason. I always enjoy your posts.