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Is it Joe Flacco’s job to mentor Drew Lock?

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Or is his job to win football games?

The first OTA practice of the year is always a place for boundless optimism and interest in the dry part of the offseason between the draft and training camp.

This is especially true with a new coaching staff installing systems on both sides of the ball.

Of course, all this interest can be turned into a bit of a distraction when the imported veteran quarterback says it isn’t his role to mentor the young gun, the potential franchise guy that many in Broncos Country have pinned hopes and dreams on.

Even amid all of the excitement Monday, the national media caught wind of the comments by Joe Flacco and did its best to make it the story of the day.

Take this report from Rotoworld - with which Orange and Blue 760’s Ryan Edwards took issue:

Or this article by NFL Wire’s Doug Farrar, who lamented the fact that Flacco would not willingly serve as a mentor to Drew Lock as Alex Smith did for Patrick Mahomes when both were with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Never mind the fact that Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, and a number of other quarterbacks have all been far from welcoming to perceived threats in recent NFL history.

Or the fact that Flacco’s comments were preceded by almost the exact same view from the Broncos head coach Vic Fangio:

“That’s on Drew to soak in and learn. Joe’s learning a new system himself. As we move along, there will be a lot more interaction to get to know each other, but primarily it’s on Drew to learn.”

Sure, it would be nice if Flacco helps Lock adapt to the NFL game. In fact, I’d be willing to bet he’ll do just that as the year moves along. All you have to do is look at how he handled the situation with Lamar Jackson in Baltimore last year to know Flacco was a resource for his replacement.

“The only things you can talk to him about are just letting the game come to him, be patient, maybe some of the things I’m [seeing] out there – just understanding some of the things that go through your head during the course of a football game, and just trying to settle him down and try to make him feel at ease.”

Other members of the Ravens made it pretty clear the veteran was hardly freezing out the heir apparent.

“Joe’s been handling it great,” wide receiver John Brown added. “He’s been in Lamar’s corner. I’ve seen him the whole time. Every time he comes off the sideline, Joe is talking to him, telling him what he sees, trying to help him out. He’s been a great teammate.”

If that doesn’t paint a picture, keep in mind that Flacco had an opportunity to tell the world “I told you so” following the Ravens 23-17 loss to the Chargers last January. If you’ll remember, Jackson had minus-2 net passing yards until 13 minutes remained in the game. He was so inept, Tony Romo and the home crowd were actively chanting for Flacco to come off the bench and try to save the day. He could have buried the rookie, but instead, the veteran took the high road.

“You can’t even go there, man,” Flacco said. “I thought Lamar did a great job of hanging in there and giving us a chance at the end.”

So don’t tell me how Flacco focusing on himself is hurting the team. The best possible long-term strategy for the Broncos is if the 34-year old plays well for 16(+?) games in 2019 and Drew Lock has the opportunity to sit, learn and take the time to refine his mechanics away from the live fire. The only way that happens is if this Denver team wins games, and the only way they do that is if the signal caller is completely focused on taking control of his football team.

Your Broncos Links

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