You mention the little jab he took from Pro Football Focus last month about his tackling, and Will Parks smiles. Then he tells this story:
It’s Dallas, at the apex of the offseason grind, and the Broncos safety/Swiss-Army-Knife transitions from a 2-hour track workout to technique, from acceleration to savage explosion. The objective is simple enough: Run like your hair’s on fire, close on your coach, then bring him down as soon as possible.
The catch: You’ve got to do it in 8 feet of water, champ.
“He’ll be all the way down on the other end of an Olympic-sized pool,” Parks says. “So I’ve got to run through him underwater. And I only can come up about three times. Let me remind you, that’s an Olympic pool.”
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“You can’t play football,” Parks counters, “if you can’t play football underwater.”
August is sink-or-swim time on the NFL calendar, and with veteran defensive back Kareem Jackson nursing a bum hamstring, a lane’s opened up in the Broncos secondary for No. 34 to show his wares to new coach Vic Fangio and first-year defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.
“Kareem is an awesome football player,” said Parks, who racked up 41 stops and four pass break-ups in 16 appearances last fall, three of them starts, as the multi-bit screwdriver in the Broncos secondary. “I learn from Kareem, and he doesn’t even know I learn from him yet.
“There are certain things Kareem does on the field that I’ve started doing in my game. Obviously, him being down, it’s a little bit of a (missing) piece for us. But still, it’s the preseason; I said, ‘(If) I get more reps on my hands, I’ve got to be ready for it. I’ve got to put myself in a position to make plays, and put myself in a position to help this team win.’ That’s what the coaching staff wants to see.”
What they’ve seen, they’ve liked. A lot.
“Will’s had a good camp,” Fangio said. “He’s versatile. Obviously, he’s a safety, primarily, but he may have some other roles that he can play for us in the sub defenses, too. Right from the start, (I’ve) been pleased with him.”
And if Vic ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
“Getting a compliment from a guy like that isn’t too frequent,” Parks chuckles, “because he’s so down-to-Earth and so real. And obviously he wants his players to get better each and every day through hard work within the field and off the field (as well). But definitely, I have to take that into consideration, because that’ll do nothing but fuel me.”
Mention Fangio’s defense and the demands it puts on perfection, on getting the little things right, and Parks smiles again. Then he reminisces about a trip to cornerback Chris Harris’ pad a few days earlier, a junket that saw them poring over film of the 49ers-Bears contest from December, …read more
Source:: The Denver Post