BRONCOS

Pat Surtain II will get a new position coach as Christian Parker moves on

Feb 5, 2024, 7:13 PM | Updated: 7:21 pm

LAS VEGAS — Indeed, Christian Parker is leaving Sean Payton’s coaching staff. But not for a role as defensive coordinator.

The Broncos defensive backs coach — who survived two coaching changes in the previous two offseasons — will reunite with his former boss, Vic Fangio, on Philadelphia’s staff. Fangio took the job as Eagles defensive coordinator last week, a move that followed a parting of the ways with the Miami Dolphins after one season that seemed promising, but devolved with injuries, leading to a 56-point deluge permitted by Miami against Baltimore on New Year’s Eve.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano first reported the move.

Fangio hired Christian Parker to join his final Broncos staff as defensive backs coach in 2021. The Broncos fired Fangio after that season, but Parker survived a staff overhaul, remaining in the same position under Nathaniel Hackett and coordinator Ejiro Evero. Sean Payton made another coaching-staff purge upon taking the head-coaching reins last year, but he, too, retained Parker.

The departure of Christian Parker is not a surprise. He interviewed for coordinator jobs in New England and Green Bay earlier this offseason.

But leaving for a job that isn’t a coordinator’s gig is.

The Patriots opted for an internal promotion, moving DeMarcus Covington up from his role as defensive-line coach. Green Bay hired former Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley for its coordinator role. That choice was a mild surprise, as the Packers had familiarity with Parker from two seasons on their staff — under head coach Matt LaFleur — before Parker joined Fangio’s Broncos staff in 2021.

Parker’s departure means that cornerback Pat Surtain II will have a new position coach for the first time. On Parker’s watch, Surtain made a pair of Pro Bowls and earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2022. He also earned first-team all-pro plaudits as selected by players this past season.

Regarded as one of the best young position coaches in the NFL, Parker’s departure is a notable loss for the Broncos — especially with the secondary potentially featuring two new starters, as veteran cornerback Fabian Moreau and safety P.J. Locke are both due to become unrestricted free agents in March.

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Pat Surtain II will get a new position coach as Christian Parker moves on