Vic Fangio warned reporters on Tuesday as he met the media just ahead of training camp - don’t get hung up on if it’s “first team” because they may switch out first-team and second-team position groups with each other.
“We may be changing in and out wide receivers per play, so you may look out there and what you view as the first-team wide receivers aren’t there, but the first-team line is,” the head coach noted. “How do you view that or vice versa? The other positions aren’t going to be dialed in always with who the quarterback is.”
But the quarterback competition will certainly be starting immediately if not sooner, and incumbent Drew Lock will get the nod first. Don’t get hyped either way on that decision, however, Fangio warns.
Fangio on Lock getting the first snap: "He's got more seniority with the Broncos ... it's really no big deal."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 27, 2021
The coach added the reps will resemble the 50-50 from OTAs where both Lock and Teddy Bridgewater will get about an even number of reps with the 1s and 2s.
“After four days — I know you’re all keeping your little charts — it’ll be 50-50. Unless, it’s an odd number; then somebody’s got one more. And then we’ll take a look at it after the first off day,” he said, adding that one day might be a 70-30 split but ultimately it will be even-steven for the two QBs and their chances to prove their worth.
“I think when you look at it up until the point where we make a decision,” Fangio said, “it’s going to be a 50-50 thing, both from a reps standpoint and working with what group.”
Fangio didn’t rule out not making a decision until just before the first regular season game and hinted that both will likely start a preseason game.
But he’s also committed to getting a good evaluation, so the first and second team units may get more playing time in the three-game preseason than previously.
Vic Fangio, on how he’ll approach the 3-game preseason, says the QB competition will make things interesting. Says that another team put a young QB out there with a 3rd-team OL “and he got clobbered.” Says you may see “the so-called 1s & 2s” playing more to get a truer QB eval.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 27, 2021
The head coach noted that he’d like “the decision” to become obvious sooner rather than later, but he’s not going to make it in haste.
“We’re going to let the decision be made for us, hopefully,” Fangio added. “And whenever that happens, it happens. If it’s so close that we can’t make a call and it stretches into the first week of preparation, then I’ll probably be playing games with you all week that first game week. We’re like everybody else. We want it to define itself quickly, sooner rather than later. But we’re going to let the process play itself out.”
New GM George Paton said in his opening comments that the decision will fall 100% on Fangio, but he too would like a resolution as soon as possible.
George Paton, on the QB competition length: "I don't think you put a deadline on it. You'd hope to see some separation as we get into Minnesota with the scrimmages ... I wouldn't put a time frame on it," but it's up to Vic Fangio.— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 27, 2021
When CEO and President Joe Ellis spoke to the media, he ironically and unknowingly summed up why Broncos Country is rightfully anxious and hung up on this next chapter in a Broncos QB battle.
“I would like to be able to stand up in front of the group here and talk about a good season,” he said. “I’ve come before you for the last several training camps spewing optimism, excited, and the numbers 5-11, 6-10, 7-9 come out at the end of the season.”
Ellis added that the losing seasons have been tough for everyone, and he understands that.
“I think Vic—going into his third year—has a handle on the team, and I’m very confident he’ll do a good job and that we’re in a position to win,” he said. “We’ve got to win. We just have to win. ...I just want to see us turn the corner and be successful.”
One guy who obviously has a vested interest in the position told reporters that both QBs are aiming to win it.
“Those dudes are working their butts off,” Courtland Sutton said. “From on-the-field stuff to off-the-field, building relationships, really diving into the smallest details of that position.”
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