NFL Network’s James Palmer acknowledged to Ryan Edwards and Ben Allbright on Broncos Country Tonight that there is “a lot” of pressure on Drew Lock to either “be the guy” for the Broncos or for the team to go in another direction.
Not the least of which because all the other AFC West teams seem to have “their guy.”
“I think the Broncos believe they have their guy, but Broncos fans want to start seeing it,” Palmer said. “But let’s be honest, the offseason hype was bigger than what was going to come out on the field this year.”
Palmer admits that the sample size is still small for Lock, and Pat Shurmur hasn’t had a full season (or even offseason) with Lock, but there’s good reason for Broncos Country to be a little concerned about the QB situation.
Palmer also reiterated a theme we’ve all certainly known - the Broncos are relying on rookies in a lot of key positions, something the reporter said a lot of coaches told him they weren’t going to do this year because of the covid offseason.
“The Broncos have a rookie center, two rookie wide receivers, a rookie tight end and a second-year tight end that they need to rely on,” Palmer said, noting it even took Tom Brady a few games to start “seeing everything” in his new offense and with his new receivers. “Without the offseason, learning all that is very, very hard.”
What @astronaut said. pic.twitter.com/50tXluzeca— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 28, 2020
“And we expect Drew Lock in his eighth full game to see everything?” Palmer asked, adding that there are some things Lock should be seeing out there, but the jury should remain out until there’s more to evaluate. “I’d like him to see more.There are some things it seems he is not really recognizing. There’s a lot of young talent there. And both those words should be equally important. Talent is definitely there, but it’s very, very young.”
Edwards asked Palmer what the narrative for this young Broncos team should be after this season, and Palmer said matter-of-factly it’s primarily finding out if Lock is the guy.
“For John Elway, the question is, ‘Is it going to be Drew Lock or should we be in the quarterback market?’” Palmer said, adding that there are going to be “interesting scenarios” in the offseason. For one, if Trevor Lawrence declares for the NFL and the Jets get the No. 1 pick, Sam Darnold is likely in the market.
But a secondary goal of this season is to determine if Vic Fangio is the guy for head coach because “you can’t just keep changing coaching staffs every season.”
Edwards closed the segment asking Palmer how likely it is that Trevor Lawrence declares for the draft, and the NFLN reporter said it depends a lot on which team is in that No. 1 spot.
“[Coaching] is that big of an issue in New York that I think it really depends,” he said.
So if there were a scenario in which Lawrence could bring his Clemson coach with him to an NFL team, Palmer asked his hosts if it would be better to have Lawrence and Dabo Sweeney or Justin Fields and his Ohio State coach Ryan Day?
You’ll have to listen to find out their choice ;)
Personally, I don’t see the point in hand-wringing over Lock yet. He needs to be better, but let’s wait until the season is over to say whether he is or isn’t “the guy.”
Who needs to improve more this week?
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