ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Three years in the NFL is not a long time, but at 23, Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II has more hardware than Home Depot.
One day after he earned his second Pro Bowl berth, Surtain won the Demaryius Thomas Team MVP award for the second straight season as selected by the local chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America.
Surtain is almost too good for his own good. He forces opponents to throw in the opposite direction and shuts down top receivers with regularity. Considered one of the NFL's top defensive backs, Surtain has recorded double figures in pass breakups in each of his first three seasons.
"To be recognized, it means a lot. I am very humbled to receive it," said Surtain. "(My awards) are all stashed away in the basement in my crib. I am running out of room."
Surtain is quiet by nature. Most cornerbacks revel in talking trash — not Pat. His confidence comes from a technique that is more polished than Pledge.
"When you are talking about carrying on a legacy like DT's, I don't think there is anyone held in higher regard than Pat on what he does, what we ask him to do and how he carries himself," Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons said. "It is very DT-esque. He does great work in community. He's one of the best players, if not the best player on our team. It makes me so happy to see a guy's legacy live on through someone you are close with."
Mike McGlinchey arrived in March as the Broncos' top free agent. He helped anchor an offensive line that has not lost a single game to injury, though McGlinchey might not play Sunday because of a painful rib issue. Throughout a Dramamine-required first season with the Broncos — the 1-5 start, five-game winning streak and devastating loss to the Patriots — the right tackle remained accountable and accessible to the media. As a result, he received the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award.
"It is a part of our job. And it is part of your job to make sure the stories are covered. And it is hard job you have to do. You are dealing with temperamental athletes, like myself, all the time — and temperamental coaches," McGlinchey said. "Our league is the greatest league in the world because of the outlet we have to so many people. It is important to show respect to not only you guys but to put our best foot forward for our football team. I think being coachable and professional are the two biggest qualities to be successful in this league."
Courtland Sutton and Baron Browning have cleared the concussion protocol and practiced fully on Thursday. It leaves them on track to play.
Marvin Mims Jr. was excited to earn Pro Bowl honors in his rookie season as a returner. I asked him if there was anyone he wants to meet in Orlando.
"Being young and being there, it's going to be cool to hang out. We have a good amount of OU guys. I don't want to fanboy. I want to fit in and be cool," he said.