There is no battle royale for the starting quarterback job in Denver this year, but there’s still plenty of competition around as the Broncos ramp up training camp.
As we saw last year, some Broncos can’t let go of their college rivalries once they reach the pros. Just ask former Michigan tight end Jake Butt after Ohio State’s Jeff Heuerman welcomed him to the pros with his haircut.
— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 22, 2017
The Broncos’ third-year safety Will Parks is no different. The Arizona alumnus has offered to step up to the chair this year to assist with rookie guard Sam Jones, who played at Arizona State.
Parks admits that Jones has some nice hair — at least for the first couple weeks of camp — as he recalls what happened to a lineman from his rookie class.
“That lineman from ASU — Jones — yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,” Parks said. “I’m excited to see what somebody does to him because if they don’t do it the right way I think I should add to his haircut.
“I see what they did to Connor McGovern two years ago in my rookie class so that was pretty bad.
“It’ll be pretty awesome to see the haircuts this year. The good thing is I don’t have to go through that again.”
The rookie haircuts have begun … 😂
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) August 17, 2016
While many Broncos vets will be queueing up to showcase their barbershop talents to the world, it’s the competition and showcasing talents on the practice field that will see the Broncos bounce back from two seasons without playoff football.
Parks believes competition can be good for the Broncos in 2018 with former Washington Redskins second-round pick Su’a Cravens added to a crowded safety room that also has Darian Stewart, Justin Simmons, Jamal Carter, Dymonte Thomas, Jordan Moore, and Trey Marshall.
The Broncos had a first-round grade on Cravens in the 2016 draft, but traded up to draft quarterback Paxton Lynch at 26 overall.
With the Broncos owning the 63rd and final pick in the second round, which they used on defensive tackle Adam Gotsis, Cravens was drafted 53rd overall by Washington, so the Broncos bolstered their safety room by drafting Simmons in the third round and Parks in the sixth, 219th overall.
At a critical point in his NFL career, Parks has to compete with another safety — one with an equally versatile skillset to his own — and he believes the competition can be good for them, which also helps the team win.
“I’ve been playing on the opposite side to Su’a since we were in the Pac-12 together,” he said. “Coming through all they talked about with Su’a and myself as well — because we played the same position — as being the most versatile safeties.
“At the end of the day as long as we’re winning and bringing the best out of each other, and the best out of the team, then we’re doing a good thing for ourselves.
“You know, you got people out there saying all kinds of different things. I see it, and I’m pretty sure he sees it as well, but I’m trying to keep my mouth shut because, as a player, I know what I can do, he knows what he can do.
“As for the Broncos and our defense, and who’s going to play, you really don’t know. They’re probably cooking up a couple packages where all of us are on the field at one time.”
You can read part one of our three-part interview with Will Parks here. Part three will be out on Monday, July 30.