BOULDER – Through eight months as a Buffalo, inside linebacker Robert Barnes is thrilled with his new position coach Mark Smith.

“He’s an awesome coach,” Barnes said on Friday. “They’re using me in a place where I’ve been wanting to play. My position is a perfect scenario for me and I’m just going out there every day and honing in on that position and trying to perfect my craft in that one area.”

That position is the “money” linebacker in Colorado’s defense, which is essentially the coverage linebacker. While Nate Landman puts his head down and blows up running backs, Barnes will have his back covering tight ends and running backs of the backfield.

“We mesh perfectly,” Barnes said. “Me and him are both very vocal leaders. That helps on the field, too, because he can focus on his side and I can focus on my side. We can mesh together. We already have communication together where we don’t even have to say anything.”

If you’ve watched either of these linebackers on the field, this setup makes a lot of sense. That’s why Barnes is so happy.

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Henry was born in Columbia Falls, Montana and graduated from Columbia Falls High School in 2015. He earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Montana in 2019. Henry joined DNVR as a remote staff writer in 2017, providing support to BSN's Broncos beat reporters. He interned at DNVR headquarters in the summer of 2018 and accepted a full-time position after graduating from UM. Follow Henry on Twitter - @HenryChisholm