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New GM calls Lock ‘talented’ but ‘inconsistent’

George Paton said his current quarterback is working hard to get better, but the team will pursue all angles at QB this offseason.

Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

When it comes to what George Paton and Vic Fangio are planning to do about the Broncos’ quarterback situation, it’s more telling what they didn’t exactly say, than what they did.

Because what they didn’t exactly say was that it’s Drew Lock’s job to lose.

“Until we get — or until Drew proves to be the next great quarterback, like the ones that the Denver franchise has been used to in years past or the ones certain teams around the league have...we’re going to always try and bring in competition,” Fangio noted, “But I have confidence that Drew can continue to improve.”

Speaking to the media on Thursday, both the new GM and the soon-to-be third-year head coach noted Lock’s attention to improvement in the offseason, but neither said Lock will be the definitive signal caller heading into early offseason training.

Paton was equally evasive, noting that he did “a deep dive” on Lock and considers him to be “very talented.”

But the GM certainly found the issues that prevented the offense from taking a big step forward last season.

“He was inconsistent at times and has a lot to work on, but I’ve spoken with Drew,” Paton added. “I see him every day. He’s here early and he’s working. He really wants to be great.”

Wanting to be great and being great are not the same thing - as Paton and Fangio know all too well because their jobs will be riding on the latter becoming true - whether that is with Lock or another quarterback.

For that reason, the two are on the same page when it comes to addressing the situation - which means looking at a lot of options, including potentially going after elite quarterbacks on other teams who may become available - Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott for example.

“I can’t discuss other players that are under contract. I appreciate the question,” Paton said in response to a question about Watson. “I’ve said before, we’re going to be aggressive and we’re going to be in every deal. It doesn’t mean we’re going to make that deal but we’re going to look into everything, whether it is a quarterback or a defensive lineman. Anything that helps our football team we’re going to pursue.”

When Fangio was asked the same question, he noted his ignorance on what is happening right now and that any discussion about what the Broncos have pursued or offered is just innuendo and rumor.

What he did know was that Lock is working hard to earn his right to be the quarterback next season.

“I’m confident that Drew’s going to continue to improve. Drew has had a great offseason up to this point. ...He’s doing anything and everything he can to improve. I feel like he’ll continue to improve,” Fangio said. “As it relates to the quarterback carousel that everybody’s talking about going around the league, we’ll see how it turns out.”

But neither Paton nor Fangio is ruling out Lock as the starter by Week 1. Paton also noted how much he wants to see Lock in live action beyond just the tape.

“There is so much that goes into that when evaluating a quarterback. I like to see them live. You’d like to see them in critical situations. You like to see the accuracy. How is he with his teammates? What is the leadership like?” he said, noting the complexity of evaluating a quarterback. “I look forward to evaluating Drew further and in person. He does have all of the traits you look for in a quarterback.”