When Broncos rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II was asked on Monday about the differences between NFL training camp and practices at Alabama, he said the altitude and lack of humidity in Colorado were the things that really stood out.
Surtain called Alabama preseason practices “a little grueling” while things are “a little smooth” with the Broncos, which may be why Surtain has been able to learn more than one position in his first days as an NFL player. That’s unusual for a rookie as the transition to the professional ranks normally focuses on a smaller portfolio, but head coach Vic Fangio said Surtain has shown no signs of being overwhelmed by what the team is asking.
“It’s rare,” Fangio said. “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. 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.”
The Broncos also brought Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller into the cornerback group this year and they have safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson back from last season. The group has the makings of a tough secondary to play against and that estimation will only go higher if Surtain lives up to heightened expectations for his rookie season.