Overshadowing the fact that Broncos were back out on the practice field and quarterback Drew Lock was among them was the absence of Melvin Gordon III due to his DUI arrest on Tuesday.
But both Vic Fangio and Drew Lock had the same words on the situation - it’s unfortunate but the entire squad is supporting him.
“Of course, I was upset, but we’re also here for him. It’s like having a brother that gets in trouble. You’re not going to bash him for what he did. You’re going to go pick him up and take him to get ice cream or something,” Lock said. “We’ll see. I’m hoping he can play on Sunday, but obviously...it’s above my pay grade, so to say. I do feel upset for him.”
Fangio said he didn’t want Gordon practicing today until they get all the facts and decide what punishment may be in order in addition to the likely suspension coming from the NFL.
“I’m disappointed, but my own two kids have disappointed me at some points in their life but I never stopped loving them anymore,” the head coach said. “He’s one of us. We’re going to love him, but there will be some consequences to what happened last night.”
The coach used it as a teaching moment to the rest of the guys as well.
“A big point I try to make to the team all the time is to learn from others mistakes. Hopefully we’re learning more from other team’s mistakes both on and off the field, but this is a teaching moment for all the guys,” he said. “I don’t even think you have to make a big deal of it. Obviously, there is going to be some ramifications and penalties for Melvin if this proceeds how we think it will. It’s a learning experience for everybody.”
Back to work.#BeatThePatriots 's » https://t.co/YCaFO549MD pic.twitter.com/ZiDBhZWora— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 14, 2020
Despite the bad news, the good news was that Lock was back under center. Fangio hasn’t decided whether the second-year quarterback will get the start on Sunday against the Patriots but will announce by the end of the week.
How Lock’s shoulder fares after a couple days of practice as well as how he looks versus Brett Rypien, who took all the reps last week, will be the determining factors.
For his part, Lock was thrilled to be back in the conversation.
“It was great to be back with the guys, calling plays in the huddle and feeling the comradery of the team. It’s pretty lonely when you’re back there with a headset and walking through things in your head,” he said. “It’s what I had to do when I was hurt, and Brett did a fantastic job when he came in there. He did what he needed to do and got us a win which is awesome.”
Lock said his goals are to show the coaches “clean football,” which he noted that Rypien did consistently last week.
“Watching Brett practice last week, it was extremely clean. He knew what he was doing with the ball, he knew his run game checks and he knew everything. It was clean and there were no questions about it,” Lock said. “I didn’t want to come in and let the intensity lag from last week’s practice. I wanted to raise it a little bit and keep things rolling. If I have crisp and clean practices and deliver the ball where it needs to be and on time, hopefully I can show them what they need to see.”
The quarterback also said he’s more than ready for the first hit - mostly so Broncos Country can collectively breathe a sigh of relief once they see him get back up.
“I’m excited to get back out there,” he said, noting there is an “art” to learning how not take sacks, which he studied on film while he was nursing the injured shoulder. “I watched a lot of older guys and how they don’t take sacks. They know they’re going to get sacked and they know where their outlet is in order to get rid of the ball. Whether that’s an automatic incompletion when you throw it at the running back’s feet or you sail one out of bounds. It’s definitely part of my game that I can get better at and I worked towards doing that while I was hurt.”
The young QB also had some remorse for how his injury halted some of the momentum the offense had been gaining throughout camp and the early games.
“We had built chemistry throughout training camp and I feel like I kind of took that away from us by making the dumb decision and not just taking the sack,” he acknowledged. “l try to make plays but there’s just got to be better times for me to make plays. There has got to be better times for me to realize that the play is over and not get hurt.”
Lock also admitted adjusting his style of play a little to protect himself from injury more.
“I can definitely give or take some of those,” he said. “That’s kind of who I am and how I play. ...I automatically want to get out and run rather than automatically stepping up and working in the pocket and delivering a ball for maybe four or six yards rather than rolling out of the pocket and trying to throw a deep bomb and make something crazy happen.”
Finding the shorter throw that’s open is something he believes he can improve.
“I feel like I can put that more into my game,” he said. “I feel like if I can slowly but surely progress into that then I can be a really good quarterback in this league.”
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