Patrick Surtain II Turning Heads in Training Camp
Less than a week into training camp, former Alabama Crimson Tide cornerback Patrick Surtain II has been turning heads in Denver. Surtain has caught on so quickly to head coach Vic Fangio's defensive scheme that Denver has put more on the rookie's plate.
"It's rare. It's rare that you would ask a rookie to do that, No.1, and it's rare that he's been able to handle it and do it," said Fangio. "Now, he's not perfected any of them yet, by any means, but we think he can, and it's not too big for him."
Surtain has been getting work at multiple spots in the secondary for Denver. His performance so far has caught the eye of a number of veterans on the Broncos roster.
"Probably one of the quickest [rookies] I’ve seen acclimate to a defense and pick up multiple spots. It’s pretty impressive," said defensive back Bryce Callahan.
"He's handled it like a pro," said linebacker Bradley Chubb. "He's been here. You've seen the guys say he's picking up things like he's a vet. I see nothing different. He's carrying himself with a confidence and a swag. That's what you love to see in a rookie, especially a DB. That position gets challenged a lot, whether it's deep balls or guarding the best athletes in the world. He's been doing a really good job with it and we're excited to see him when the season comes."
Surtain, a three-year starter at the University of Alabama started 38 consecutive games in the Crimson Tide secondary. The 2020 SEC Defensive Player of the Year will make an immediate impact for a Broncos team that ranked 25th in total defense a year ago.
"I'm just taking it day-by-day, learning every position just in case the team needs me in certain spots," Surtain said. "I'm just picking up on the playbook and translating it on the field.
The Broncos will play its first preseason game Saturday, Aug. 14 against the Minnesota Vikings.