Will Parks has consistently provided the Denver Broncos with a spark that they’ve needed, and in 2019 his role is expected to increase even further.
Denver Broncos Safety Will Parks is often known for his community efforts, his passion, and energy when he dances on the field or sidelines during games or practice, and his ability to make plays but the NFL world has slept on Parks for too long.
Matching his intensity on the field, Parks’ level of focus is something that is evident through his preparation.
Spending time during the 2018 offseason bouncing back from Denver to his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to flying out to Texas to train with CB Chris Harris Jr., Parks has changed the game in the way he prepares for a big 2019 season.
I had the chance to talk with Will this off-season on the Locked On Broncos podcast for his recurring “Keeping It Will” segment.
Under a new coaching staff with Vic Fangio, Ed Donatell, and Renaldo Hill as his position coach, change is nothing new to him and how he prepares for a breakout season in 2019.
"“Those guys have a lot of history as far as making people better and bringing the best out of their players, not just on the field and off the field, they’re supportive of peoples lives and what they do off the field. It’s exciting to have a group of guys like that.”– Will Parks on the additions of Coach Fangio and Ed Donatell (quotes obtained firsthand)"
Even more appealing to Will is the impact that the safety position will have in the Broncos’ defensive scheme in 2019.
Fangio and Donatell run a 3-4 scheme that shows a variety of looks including 2-high safety looks or having the safety roll down to cover the slot, hook to curl or even deep 1/2’s.
Will expressed excitement regarding how the defense allows players to be interchangeable where “You never know where anybody can be in that kind of defense.”
Parks provided the Broncos with a spark on both defense and special teams, but the biggest spark came on a play that every coach in the world should show their players in terms of never giving up.
The Steelers had the ball 3rd-and-1 on the DEN 24 yard line, Roethlisberger goes play action as Xavier Grimble blocks down on Bradley Chubb then releases on a drag across the field as nobody accounts for him.
Grimble runs down the sideline effortlessly as it appears the Broncos would give the Steelers an easy touchdown, but Will Parks is seen at the top of the screen flying at an appropriate pursuit angle.
As soon as Grimble gets to the 1-yard line he meets Parks who lowers his shoulder, blasting the ball out as it’s fumbled into the end-zone for a touchback.
An amazing effort play displayed to Broncos Country and the world an important lesson on never giving up, but more importantly that Will Parks is here and he isn’t going anywhere.
As he prepares for 2019, Parks has focused every effort into training and working out, sharpening his iron. Entering his fourth season in the league, he attested a lot of his focused mindset towards letting go of things that may limit him.
"“There’s no limits. Expectations and goals are great words to live by, but I can’t do that anymore because I don’t want to limit myself.” – Will Parks on his expectations or goals."
One thing I’ve loved about Parks’ mindset is that he doesn’t believe in ceilings on the field or off the field. There is always a way to get better.
“I haven’t been doing anything else but training,” Parks said in our interview, meaning that he will go to the gym and train rather than go out to eat a meal at a restaurant. It simply requires more focus.
Parks joins the Broncos secondary in 2019 alongside Chris Harris Jr and Justin Simmons as a veteran player. In order for the Broncos to take the next step in 2019, it’s through leadership that he sees the team coming together against a difficult schedule.
For Parks, being in the meeting room with the No Fly Zone: Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr, TJ Ward, Darian Stewart taught him and fellow safety Justin Simmons a lot about being a pro.
“That kind of chemistry that they had, that’s the kind of chemistry, if not even more, that I want to instill into the DB room,” Parks said.
Picking up elements of what each member of the No Fly Zone had in terms of leadership is something Parks said he has embodied and can’t wait to carry it over once the team begins their offseason program in a couple of weeks.
Getting back to the playoffs in 2019 is a big goal for the team, but it will take the team coming together and not allowing the little things (Death by Inches) to hurt them.
Will brought up how important accountability is and how something as little as throwing your towel outside of the towel bin rather than throwing it in the towel bin is an important measure of how accountable they must be to avoid “Death by Inches.”
The Broncos’ decision not to pursue a safety in Free Agency spoke volumes about the team’s faith in Will Parks and Dymonte Thomas to make an even bigger impact in 2019.