Former Broncos Safety Contrasts Eagles’ Culture, ‘Super Bowl or Nothing’ Mentality

Will Parks

Getty Broncos safety Will Parks is a hybrid player who would be a perfect fit for the Eagles in free agency.

Will Parks wasn’t taking a shot at Denver but he couldn’t help notice a different football culture in Philadelphia. Then again, Parks is a little biased.

The Philly native signed a one-year deal this offseason to play for his hometown Eagles, an organization where the mentality is “Super Bowl or nothing.” Parks, a sixth-round pick of the Broncos in 2016, believes everyone in the building is invested in winning. He takes comfort in seeing owner Jeffery Lurie and GM Howie Roseman observing practice from the sideline, as well as teammates pushing teammates to be better players. It’s noticeably different in South Philly.

“I love the football culture here. It’s awesome, bro,” Parks told reporters on Sunday. “It’s Super Bowl or nothing and that’s the kind of team I wanted to be a part of, that’s the kind of organization I wanted to help win games and obviously I’m here now and doing everything I can to put myself in situations to let the team know they can trust me.”

That’s not to say the culture on the Broncos was bad. The 26-year-old safety spent his first four NFL seasons in the Mile High City, a place where he was active in the community while carving out a reputation as the team’s “Swiss Army Knife” on defense. Parks played outside corner, nickel corner, dime backer, strong safety, free safety or whatever else was needed. That hybrid role suits him.

“I’m everywhere: dime, corner, both safeties. I’m everywhere. I’m all over the field,” Parks said. “And that’s what I take pride in.”

The Eagles had Parks lining up as the third safety, behind Rodney McLeod and Jalen Mills during the first padded practice, but his position will evolve over the course of the year. He expects to have “a lot on my plate” and welcomes the challenge.

“I lined up everywhere on the field in the last two practices, so that just speaks to what they expect from me or to my role,” Parks said. “I’ll probably have a lot on my plate. I’m a guy who likes challenges so I wouldn’t want them to want me to be here if I didn’t want that role. I’m here for a championship.”

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Parks Trying to Fix Gun Violence Problem

Parks often talks about the odds being stacked against him from the jump. And how he “came up through the jungle.”

Parks grew up on the mean streets of North Philadelphia, a rough-and-tumble neighborhood where poverty and crime run rampant. The Eagles’ newest safety revealed to reporters that he had recently lost a friend to gun violence two years ago.

Parks also lost his 55-year-old uncle to gun violence during a botched robbery attempt in 2018. He has since partnered with Philadelphia CeaseFire, a local offshoot of a national anti-violence organization dedicated to stopping shootings in known hot spots. Something’s gotta give, something’s gotta change.

“That’s a pandemic within itself,” Parks said. “We can’t keep talking about it. We got to do something about it.”

Parks has turned his attention to worrying about Philly youth as the rumor of kids not going back to school this fall reverberates around Harrisburg. Worse yet, Gov. Tom Wolf has called for the state to cancel high school sports, a recommendation that has been met with heavy backlash from Zach Ertz and others. These kids rely on after-school programs like football to keep them off the streets and away from violence.

“These kids don’t have football, so now you look at it like, ‘What’s next?'” Parks said. “We all know what’s going on outside right now. These kids are just killing each other left and right, number two in the murder rate, it’s unbelievable.”


K’Von Wallace Looking to ‘Smack Something’

Eagles rookie safety K’Von Wallace can do no wrong. He landed in the Eagles’ nest with a loud thud, declaring how he always “hated the f***ing Cowboys” and ink-staining himself with a giant Eagles tattoo. Don’t forget his close relationship with legendary safety Brian Dawkins.

The fourth-round pick out of Clemson recently launched his own YouTube channel as he continues to build his brand on social media. But, can he play football? According to Parks, Wallace is running around the field looking to “smack something” while taking on an early leadership role.

“Rangy guy. He’s coming down to smack something,” Parks said. “He has an amazing awareness for a guy coming in as a rookie. He’s out there pointing at guys and telling them, ‘You go here, you go there’ … and he’s picking up things pretty well.”

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