Will Parks is only in his fourth year but he's on his third coaching staff. Drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft under then-head coach Gary Kubiak, Parks went on to play for Vance Joseph and now Vic Fangio.
That's a lot of leadership turnover, to say nothing of the scheme, in less than four years. In that sense, Parks has probably managed it as well as could be expected.
Now in a contract year, Parks has established himself as the No. 3 safety behind starters Justin Simmons and newcomer Kareem Jackson. So far, Coach Fangio has really liked what Parks has brought to the table.
“Good. I think Will’s had a good camp," Fangio said following Monday's practice. "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. He’s had a good camp right from the start, been pleased with him.”
Vic Fangio does not blow smoke up anyone's skirt. If a player is able to glean a compliment from Fangio, you can believe that he earned it.
That should be a refreshing and encouraging change for Broncos fans. Fangio tells it like it is — good or bad/hell or high water. He's reluctant to shower anyone with praise, so when he does, it's noteworthy.
Parks can play strong and free safety, though his strength is down in the box. He can hang with a tight end in coverage, especially if he knows where his help is, but that's not his forte.
Parks is an emotional firebrand — a player who sets the tone. He's best when he can play closer to the line of scrimmage where he can utilize his physicality to wreak havoc.
Dime-backer, single-high, strong, robber. If asked, he can do it all to varying degrees of competency. But one common denominator you'll always get from Will Parks is this; maximum effort.
Look no further than that touchdown-saving hit he laid on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Xavier Grimble last year in the Broncos' Week 12 matchup. Parks crossed the entire field to head Grimble off at the goal-line and laid a slobber-knocker of a hit on the big TE that caused him to fumble through the end zone and out of bounds. Touchback.
It'll be interesting to see how Parks does under Fangio's direction in a contract year. In Fangio's scheme and under he and DC Ed Donatell's coaching, sky's the limit.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.