ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Two Broncos earned awards for their efforts this season, as awarded by the Denver chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association; cornerback Pat Surtain II was named the Demaryius Thomas Team MVP and guard Dalton Risner was given the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award.
“What the media recognizes is what I recognize,” interim head coach Jerry Rosburg said Thursday. “Congratulations to both Pat and to Dalton.”
Surtain was a shoe-in for the MVP award, as he’s established himself among the NFL’s top cornerbacks this season. He has two interceptions, 10 pass breakups and is the Broncos’ only Pro Bowler this season.
“Pat is an elite player and plays at an elite level,” Rosburg said. “Not all elite athletes play at an elite level, but he does. His demeanor, to me—we all think of football players as these ferocious beasts, and some of them are very much that. Pat has such a cool about him and plays at such a high speed that it almost looks easy. That’s probably the most difficult position on the field.”
The Demaryius Thomas Team MVP Award is given to the Bronco who “best exhibits Thomas’ impact on the team both on and off the field.” It was first awarded last season to Simmons.
Surtain never met Thomas before he died, but Surtain has heard plenty about him.
“He always brought a smile around the facility, I heard,” Surtain said. “He just brought positive energy no matter if there was bad days or good days. That’s what I’ve heard from some teammates that played with him. They’ve said that he was an excellent guy. I’m honored to receive this award after hearing how good of a guy he was. I’m honored just to receive this award in general.”
A brief poll of the locker room on Thursday indicated that Surtain was the correct choice for the award.
“I would just like to thank my teammates and my coaches for pushing me every day to be the best person and best player I can be,” Surtain said. “Without them, who knows. It just goes to show the success I had this season leading into the season—my goals. This is one of the goals I wanted to have, so it’s an honor—a huge honor.”
The Darrent Williams Good Guy Award is to the Bronco who best exemplifies Williams’ enthusiasm, cooperation and honesty while dealing with members of the press. It is named in honor of the Broncos cornerback who died Jan. 1, 2007 after his second season in the NFL. Safety Justin Simmons has won the award three times. Last year’s winner was quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Like Surtain, Risner never met the namesake of his award, but Risner knows plenty about him.
“I watched the guy growing up,” Risner said. “I watched every single Bronco game. For me to hear about the type of man that he was amongst adversity, it really motivates me and reminds me of how important it is to be a great man—not only in times of comfort and convenience, but also in times of trial and tribulation. That’s something I’ve always tried to take pride in.”