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The Denver Broncos need to let Drew Lock play like Drew Lock

The young quarterback has skills. How the Denver Broncos nurture those skills will make all the difference.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

No matter who you are, the shadows of great quarterbacks in Denver loom large. While fan expectations for the position may not always be fair, that’s just the way it is when play under center for the Broncos. Over the last couple weeks, anybody and everybody had an opinion on how Drew Lock should play football.

It became apparent early in the game on Sunday that coaches had taken time over the course of the week to put the fear of making mistakes into Drew Lock. He was timid and overly cautious with where to go with the ball. The gunslinger looking for the homerun play had been replaced by this checkdown-happy imposter.

For the first three quarters of the game on Sunday, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur called the kind of game that Trevor Siemian and Case Keenum devotees could really get excited about. It was frustrating to watch and it had to be frustrating to execute.

Honestly, the Chargers game had a very 2015 feel to it. Like Gary Kubiak trying to force Peyton Manning into playing within the Kubiak offense, it not working, and then asking Peyton to go out and win it his way. Something happened in the 4th quarter and Lock broke the Shurmur shackles and began to ball his way. It was fun to watch! It was amazing! Most importantly, it was productive.

The Broncos need to find a happy medium in how they progress with Drew Lock. Siemian-izing him is not the solution, nor is constantly swinging for the fences with every pass. What Broncos Country saw on Sunday was something special. Lock clearly has the skills and drive to be a long-term solution at quarterback in Denver. It all comes down to how the Broncos bring him along. While there is that urge to put the clamps on to minimize mistakes, that will only stifle his growth. The Broncos must resist this and find ways to let Drew Lock be Drew Lock, much like they did as time expired against the Chargers on Sunday.

What a terrific win! Enjoy it Broncos Country.

HORSE TRACKS

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