DENVER — Pat Surtain II never lacked confidence when he arrived in Denver, but the past two years have changed his life dramatically.
He's evolved into the Broncos' best player, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors this season. He is finding his voice in the locker room, on the field and in the community.
The former Alabama star launched the Pat Surtain Foundation on Monday night with his PS2's Strikes for Tykes bowling event at the Punch Bowl Social.
"My mission is to give back to the community, those underprivileged in the urban communities. That's my main mission to shine the light on those in need," Surtain said. "In general, it means a lot to me to be in this stage of my life to be able to give back. I am grateful for this experience and this moment."
Surtain has delivered on the field. As a rookie, he was more polished than Pledge, amazing teammates with his sound fundamentals. With an offseason to study receivers, he developed into a shutdown corner last year, almost too good for his own good as teams rarely targeted him.
One thing Surtain has not done is win. It eats at him after playing for a nationally-ranked high school power in Florida and claiming a national title at Alabama. As such, the Broncos' hiring of Sean Payton has him excited about the future.
"His resume speaks for itself," Surtain said of Payton, who has nine playoff berths and a Super Bowl ring to his name. "I can't wait to get to work with him. I think he's going to provide the tools necessary for us to have a winning culture in the organization. He's a guy that gives you that winning attitude, those leadership qualities that you look for in a coach."
Surtain played for the legendary Nick Saban at Alabama. So when he hears that Payton will be demanding and detail-oriented, Surtain knows what that looks like.
"It's something that's in their DNA. It's that type of mentality you look for in great coaches, day in and day out. Those are the qualities you look for in a coach," Surtain said. "We are building for next year. With Sean and everybody in the organization, I can tell we are in for a great year."
Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons was one of several teammates to attend Surtain's Monday event. For Simmons, the coaching carousel has been dizzying. He's on his fifth coach as he enters his eighth season. Simmons has accomplished plenty as an individual. What's left is obvious.
"I am really excited," Simmons said. "You hear things about Payton being demanding and running a hard training camp. I don't care if I play every snap in the preseason. I just want to win."
Running back Javonte Williams was walking well on Monday, roughly five months removed from ACL surgery. He told Denver7 he will continue his rehab in Denver this offseason.
"It's going well. I am able to do everything they ask of me," Williams said.
The Broncos missed Williams last year, and his return with Latavius Murray could provide a boost for an offense that figures to be run heavy to take pressure off Russell Wilson.