USA TODAY Sports’ Lindsay H. Jones looks at how the big offseason changes in the NFC South will affect the division’s 2017 NFL season.
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Broncos backup safety Will Parks escaped punishment from his coach and condemnation from his teammates for Snapchatting video clips of practice plays, which they insisted wasn’t a dig at Paxton Lynch.
Coach Vance Joseph called the violation of team rules and of players’ social media code an innocent mistake by a young player who was trying to highlight himself and not embarrass Lynch, who is trying to unseat incumbent Trevor Siemian for the starting quarterback job this offseason.
In the clips, an erratic Lynch misfires twice to receivers on crossing patterns with Parks in the defensive backfield.
“He was trying to showcase how hard he’s working,” Joseph said. “But he can’t do it because what we do here, it’s personal and private. But his intent was not to hurt us or a teammate.”
So, Joseph said he didn’t punish the second-year pro.
“It was more of a conversation and an education than a punishment,” Joseph said.
Parks met with the media Monday and addressed his social media faux pas as well as his March 31 arrest on harassment and non-physical domestic violence charges that came to light last week.
Parks could be punished under the league’s personal conduct policy whether or not he’s convicted of the charges involving a former girlfriend that he accused of taking his personal belongings after their breakup.
Joseph said that matter is “in the courts’ hands, in the league’s hands” and “whatever happens, it comes from the league, not from us.”
Parks said “the facts will come out when I deal with the legal process” and insisted he wasn’t worried about a possible suspension from the NFL.
Parks also said he meant no harm by posting the two clips of last week’s closed OTA practices on his Snapchat account.
“I was just showing my progress. That had nothing to do with Paxton or anybody on the field. That was just me showing my progress and showing how hard we work back there at practice,” Parks said. “So, it was a mistake.”
Parks said there was no need for him to apologize to Lynch, either.
“Man, me and Paxton we came in together,” Parks said. “We didn’t even look at it how everybody else looked at it. We looked at it as hey man, it’s another day on Snapchat.”
Parks said his teammates had his back and realized it wasn’t a dig at Lynch, who hasn’t publicly addressed the matter and won’t meet with the media again until next week’s minicamp.
The lesson Parks takes from his gaffe, he said, was “just don’t do it.”
That was teammate Jamaal Charles’ advice.
“You want to stay away from those things if possible,” Charles said of all social media when it comes to pro football players. “With me, I don’t even get on those things. I let my people run it and (I) just stay off every media and just let me focus on my plays.”
Defensive end Derek Wolfe said the whole issue was blown out of proportion.
“I don’t think he meant any harm by it,” Wolfe said. “So, in our eyes it’s fake news: making something out of nothing.”
NOTES: Although Lynch threw two TD passes to Demaryius Thomas on Monday, he also tossed a rainbow in the red zone after rolling right and throwing toward his left, where a trio of defensive backs was waiting for the ill-advised pass. Lynch continues to rely on targets outside the numbers or deep against a single safety but isn’t hitting his receivers over the middle much — unlike Siemian did when he escaped pressure and kept his eyes downfield as TE Jeff Heuerman got open for a red-zone heater at the goal line.
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