During his rookie year, Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II looked every inch the genuine NFL article. Surtain is already an old head on young shoulders, which has given rise to the idea that letting the uber-talented defender go toe-to-toe against opposing No. 1 receivers could be the best strategy to utilize — sooner rather than later.
When the 22-year-old took Broncos TV's cameras along for a ride to the team’s facility, the maturity and assured confidence he has in abundance immediately stood out, particularly when Surtain detailed just how good the Broncos can be in 2022.
“This team is shaping up well," he said. "There are a lot of guys that are ready to play at that high level. A lot of guys that are going into this season with a chip on their shoulder from last year. So, I just think that the sky is the limit for us, we can only take us as far as we want to take us. The goal is each and every week to be dialed in, and get better. But, you know, this team is ultra-focused, I feel like. What’s really at stake and what’s really in front of us, and that’s making it to the big game and getting to those, and getting to the level we are capable of. So, that’s what the team goal is, and we are just showing it each and every day.”
The grind is simply part of the process for Surtain, and his refocused teammates, as they aim for loftier goals. Just recently, some critics took the opportunity to pluck low-hanging fruit from the tree, taking aim when head coach Nathaniel Hackett canceled the last day of mandatory minicamp in favor of team-binding field day activities.
Given how such events backfired under the tenure of former HC Vic Fangio, it’s understandable how it might have raised some eyebrows. That being said, Surtain sees the merit in building unity and friendships away from the practice facilities, and it would appear the new Hackett regime is happy to let things breathe and develop organically.
“What we are doing off the field I just see as if we are just building relationships, getting to know each other, understand each other, and have fun at the same time,” Surtain insisted. “So, go out there and have fun, compete at a high level, and that’s what’s been happening for these couple weeks.”
It takes a more mature locker room to understand the difference between work and play but getting the balance right always tends to deliver results. Surtain is showing considerable leadership skills and talking like a true veteran, which only bodes well for the challenges that lie ahead.