The Denver Broncos will take on the Seattle Seahawks in what will be their second preseason game, but really its their first due to the extra Hall of Fame Game last week. There will be a lot of interest in second-round pick Drew Lock during the preseason, since that will be our only change to really get a look at the rookie in 2019 with Joe Flacco firmly cemented as the teams starting quarterback.
Head Coach Vic Fangio noted that he’ll likely get Lock in for a full half and maybe up to three quarters of play. He hopes to see Lock operate the offense a little better this week.
“Just operate,” Fangio said of Lock. “One thing you got to remember about him, he hardly has ever been under center in his life. He’s hardly ever had to call a play in his life—a formation and checks. Once he gets through that, I think the other stuff will come easier and quicker. He is learning a new offense, how an offense operates, and when he becomes more of quarterback in those regards and feels comfortable where it becomes second nature, the other stuff will start.”
The part about playing under center applied a lot to Paxton Lynch when he came in as a first-round pick in 2016, but what a difference a dozen picks makes on expectations. The Broncos are working Lock in slowly and have no real concern about his needing to play in 2019.
It’s a much better situation for Lock to grow and learn than it was for Lynch back in 2016 - not that it would have changed the outcome, but it is worth noting the difference here for Lock.
The increase in reps came as a surprise to some, especially with Brett Rypien on the roster too. However, it is looking like Rypien’s days are already numbered and the organization wants to get as many looks as it can from Lock now.
“It’s organizational,” Fangio said on Lock’s increased game reps. “Obviously, I’m involved with it. The offensive coaches are involved with it. I keep John [Elway] in the loop and we come to a conclusion.”
This isn’t that much different that how the quarterback situation unfolded in 2017 either, when John Elway and Vance Joseph brought Lynch along more aggressively. Hopefully, this is so Elway can gain an idea of where the franchise priority needs to be in future drafts - especially if things don’t work out with Flacco in 2019.
Fangio, on the other hand, seems to be getting sick of the questions about Lock’s reps and playing time. At one point during his presser on Tuesday, he quipped about the hounding nature of the Lock-related questions.
“I said, a little, a little and a lot,” Fangio said. “What do you want us to do? Shut down the whole operation for him?”
Well we know that isn’t going to happen. The point was taken though. 2019 isn’t about Drew Lock and isn’t ever going to be about Drew Lock. His job is to learn and grow this year and Fangio seems a bit tired of trying to get the media to understand this.