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Broncos' CB Patrick Surtain II Drops a Kubiak Maxim in Describing OTAs: 'Iron Sharpes Iron'

Patrick Surtain II wasn't around in 2015 when Gary Kubiak rolled this phrase out as the Broncos' maxim.

The Denver Broncos romped all the way to victory in Super Bowl 50 under Gary Kubiak in his first year as head coach. That was back in 2015. 

One of the first things Kubiak did when training camp rolled around was roll out a new mantra. It showed up on the walls of UCHealth Training Center, cutaway T-shirts on players, and elsewhere. 

'Iron sharpens iron.'

The proverbial phrase was a rallying cry for the 2015 Broncos and led to the team's third World Championship. Now, the Broncos don't own the patent on 'iron sharpens iron' and it's a phrase used oft around the prep, college, and pro sporting worlds. 

In what could be an omen of sorts, though, Broncos' second-year cornerback Patrick Surtain II used the maxim on Wednesday when describing the level of competition that's taking place on the grass during OTA practices. 

“It’s been very competitive so far," Surtain said. "We’ve been going at it for sure. Offense vs. defense—we’re just doing good on good. Iron sharpens iron, so we’re making plays and the offense is making plays. It’s just good battles going on right now.”

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The Broncos are in midst of a makeover currently with a new head coach, Nathaniel Hackett, and a new franchise quarterback — Russell Wilson. Wilson has helped elevate the intensity levels at practice and Surtain can already see that paying dividends on himself and his fellow defenders. 

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“It’s helps me a lot, going against premiere talent like that with a great quarterback and great perimeter players," Surtain said. "That helps me as a player and [helps] build on my game. It’s always great going against them.”

Surtain is coming of a Pro Bowl-caliber rookie debut where he broke up 14 passes and picked off four, one of which he returned to the house for his first pick-six. The No. 9 overall pick in last year's draft, the young corner revealed how he's looking to build on a solid first campaign. 

“I think that the next step is to keep on building on that, keep on growing and keep on learning every day because in the league, you learn from experience," Surtain said. "That’s the best thing about it—growing and utilizing your time wisely so you can understand what it takes to be a pro in this league. That’s what I’m doing.”

Indeed, iron sharpens iron and that's what's taking place at Dove Valley right now. That was a mindset that Kubiak fostered and harnessed to stunning success seven years ago. 

Only time will tell if the 2022 Broncos have what it takes to reach the highest level of the game this season but there's been more than one player throwing around 'Super Bowl' at the podium. 

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