Patrick Surtain II Reveals Advantage he Has Over Seahawks WRs – Sports Illustrated

Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett stashed away so many key players during the preseason that tallying them up required a calculator. Having multiple players patrolling the sidelines was designed for the sole purpose of keeping them fit and available for Week 1's action in Seattle, so to that end, the overall strategy worked out nicely.
Denver's second-year cornerback Patrick Surtain II was one of the star players Hackett would absolutely not risk in the pursuit of meaningless dividends. One collateral benefit to watching from the sideline was that it gave the former Alabama stand-out plenty time to focus on studying his opponents — well ahead of the live bullets that'll be flying in his direction on September 12.
On Wednesday, Surtain admitted that it was a little difficult sitting out during the preseason games, but he threw himself into helping the rookies make the team. That kind of veteran leadership doesn't ordinarily fall on such young shoulders.
“It was tough because mentally—just the anticipation [of] thinking you’re going to be out there, but of course, you’re watching from the sidelines,” Surtain said. “But it’s also a great thing to sit back, visualize and help younger guys in making the team. Just going out there and helping those guys play at a high level, that was the biggest thing.”
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Hackett’s only real gamble was trusting that his players will not be lacking in intensity when the rubber meets the road in Seattle after hanging out for nearly a month watching other people play football. For Surtain, it's particularly challenging, because he has Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf to lock horns with come Monday Night Football.
To that end, Surtain revealed how he's got an inside man close at hand in Russell Wilson — fresh off receiving a five-year mega-extension from the Broncos — if he wants the inside scoop on Seattle's dangerous pass-catching duo.
“It’s definitely a benefit, especially him playing with those two guys,” Surtain explained. “I can pick his brain, gain a few tips from him and some insight from him, but also it just comes down to film study and preparation, at the same time, and getting yourself mentally and physically prepared for that week.”
Surtain is becoming well known throughout the league, not only for his natural abilities, but also for his dedication to studying the book on his opponents. It's a distinct possibility that the Seahawks will trust their star pairing to go toe-to-toe with the Broncos' 22-year-old cover corner.
Moving forward, should Surtain continue his rapid rise to prominence, teams might opt to start avoiding his side of the field. If that should happen over time, he acknowledges that losing the chance to pad his stats would hurt him slightly, but he'd take it as a backhanded compliment.
“It’s both. It’s a compliment, but also, it’s like, ‘Dang, my stat sheet isn’t going to be up there.’ It’s also a compliment if another team’s quarterback doesn’t look your way,” Surtain conceded. “Obviously, you’re doing something good. On the stat sheet, it’s not going to come out the way you want it to come out, but at the end of the day, you know you did something well.”
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Keith Cummings is in his fourth year covering the Denver Broncos for Mile High Huddle.


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