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Broncos CB Patrick Surtain II Unveils New Goal for 2023

Patrick Surtain II is a man with a mission.

Denver Broncos' All-Pro cornerback Patrick Surtain II has been as advertised since arriving as the No. 9 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Now entering Year 3, Surtain told the Jim Rome Show that among his goals for improvement, he wants to become a bonafide locker room force.

“I can always improve on my technique. Technique is a big part of my game, and I want to master it,” Surtain told Rome this week. “I feel like there are some little tendencies here and there that I can improve on in my technique. You know, sharpen up, refine my tools, my toolbox. But, just growing into being a leader, even though I’m still young—I’m in my third year. I think it’s that time where I just set apart myself and step into that leadership phase, just be out there for the team. Whether it’s leading by example or just leading vocally, just doing everything in my power to make sure I step that up.”

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Assuming a leadership role is just part of Surtain's hugely aspirational career path. Already, the 23-year-old is onto his third defensive coordinator in as many years, so another season of making adjustments and learning a fresh scheme is nothing new for Surtain.

In new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph's scheme, Surtain could be playing a lot of press coverage, and that should suit him. Joseph wasn't exactly the most popular choice to end up marshaling the Broncos' defense moving forward, but if fans trust in the process under head coach Sean Payton, then perhaps trusting his judgment calls won't be such a stretch.

The positive changes enacted by Payton thus far provided a vehicle that Surtain has been more than happy to hop into, and it's all spoken like a well-seasoned veteran.

“Me and him [Payton have] been chatting it up. And you know, even though we just started to get to know each other, it seems like we have known each other for a long-time already,” Surtain told Rome. “We can connect with each other very well, he’s also an entertaining guy as well too. He will say a joke here and there. You know, but he’s just locked in with the team. He’s got a lot of swag behind him. It’s a lot of personal-level stuff that you will see in him that will take as a winning coach. We are very excited for that as a team. Sean, he just knows what it takes. You just sense that around the team, the sense of aura, the energy that surrounds the team that he’s brought. So, we are very excited as a team to see where the season takes us coming up.”

Nobody should really be that surprised to hear Surtain say that Payton has already bridged the generation gap with his new players. Flashing certain bespoke jewelry (Super Bowl ring) can do that for a head coach, but clearly, Surtain is a firm believer in the rocking tunes Payton is working on.

If the Broncos are deadly serious about jumping back into the category of contending teams, much will come to depend on how effective Surtain can be in locking down every opponent’s No. 1 wide receiver.

It's a formidable challenge that Surtain has previously faced with aplomb, and the early signs under Payton are that his burgeoning levels of confidence could reach the NFL stratosphere in 2023. 

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