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Atwater: Drew Lock’s ceiling depends on him

The Hall of Fame safety is putting the onus for improvement where it belongs...on Drew Lock himself.

Buffalo Bills v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Discussing Drew Lock the same way he played safety, Steve Atwater will not waste your time but will hit you with the truth.

And that is that among everyone’s questions about whether Pat Shurmur’s playbook or Mike Shula’s coaching or Jordan Palmer’s Josh Allen offseason magic can be the difference in Lock becoming a franchise quarterback, the onus is really on one guy.

Drew Lock.

“I’m never one to underestimate ability of a player to improve, but it’s a lot of work,” Atwater told Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright on Broncos Country Tonight. “A lot of work, a lot of film study, the right coaches pushing the right buttons.”

Atwater believes No. 3 does have the physical skills but he says 75 percent of a quarterback’s progress year to year comes from his own work to improve. The last quarter is coaching and scheme and the rest.

“The question is will he put in the work?” Atwater posed. “Is his process a process to get to the next level?”

But Atwater didn’t deny the coaching piece of the puzzle, arguing that if the coaches in place are not able to get the best out of him, then a quarterback belongs where another coach can.

“Time will tell if he can improve,” Atwater added. “I think he can. Will he? That’s on Drew Lock.”

And Atwater’s advice to Lock isn’t to just watch his own film but to watch a lot of other great quarterbacks too. Maybe even starting with a few playing this weekend.

“Although their games are totally different, there are things he can learn,” Atwater said, getting down to the nitty gritty of what can be very frustrating about Lock’s play. “They don’t sit back and take sacs. They don’t throw into coverage. They do a good job when they are under pressure at throwing it out of bounds because they aren’t going to sit back there and take a bunch of hits.”

Atwater added that if Lock can’t learn from that, it’s not going to be a long NFL career for him.

“You’re going to be sitting on the couch watching somebody else play if you can’t get better each and every year,” Atwater said.

Almost like a hit to Christian Okoye, eh No. 27?

“At the end of the day, [Lock] is the one out there making the calls, making the throws, scrambling, deciding if he’s going to step into the pocket or outrun from the backside, deciding if he’s going to try and squeeze it in there to four people instead of throwing it out of bounds,” he said. “I think he can do it. Will he do it? We’ll have to wait and see.”


Atwater gave us an easy enough poll ... Will Drew Lock get better each year?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Totally. He’ll put in the work.
    (581 votes)
  • 32%
    Improvement over last season tells me probably not.
    (274 votes)
855 votes total Vote Now