Drew Lock was officially announced as the starter for Saturday’s season finale against the Chiefs.
And the third-year quarterback emphasized over and over that his only focus this week is preparing for the AFC West’s best team - and a rival that has had Denver’s number since Week 2 of the 2015 season.
But that narrative is not the one the current locker room cares about, No. 3 insists. It’s about getting a win in Week 18 of the 2021 season.
“I know it’s not necessarily a narrative in our locker room,” Lock said, adding that a win this week would be no different than any other week. “A win in this league, it’s not easy to do, obviously. I think I’d be just excited about a win this week as I would have been last week.”
Although the questions couldn’t help from alluding to his role in the NFL - maybe the Broncos - next season, Lock stayed consistent in his message.
“I think you have to focus on staying in the moment. My biggest thing today was meetings this morning. Then my next biggest thing is going to be going out to practice, executing, getting the week started off right,” Lock said. “I think if you just take it day by day, stay where your feet are, the outside noise and a lot of other things that go on around—what is football, what is the NFL, what is the Denver Broncos right now? That all stays out of your focus if you’re just where your feet are at all times.”
Whether his future after Saturday is in Denver or elsewhere, Lock is only concerned right now with the game.
“But I do know, my future is playing a game, and that’s my number one priority right now,: he added.
What does Drew Lock's statline have to look like against the Chiefs to lock in the QB1 job for 2022?— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) January 5, 2022
And that’s his message to the team as well.
“I’m dialed in, I’m going into every huddle, calling it like it’s going to win the Super Bowl. So, we all just end up focusing on what is going on right now,” he said. “I think if, as a quarterback, you bring that type of energy, a team can feel that from you. That’s going to be my job this week. Keeping everybody where their feet are and getting ready to go.”
But the questions of the future were unavoidable and ultimately Lock had to answer to whether he believed he could be an NFL starter.
“In these last couple weeks, I’ve done a lot of good things. I have,” he said, acknowledging that the metric of success is still wins and losses. “But I feel like I’ve done a lot of good things, to the point where I am confident in myself that I deserve and should be a starter in this league. It’s going to take other people watching my film and seeing that from me and wanting that for me, in whatever program that it is. But I do personally believe that [if] you give me a starting job, you let me prep throughout the week, I’m going to give you a damn good chance to win a football game.”
Mike Klis reported on 9NEWS Wednesday night that he believes Lock will end up being “trade bait” for the Broncos.
“My guess is he’s probably with someone else involved in a trade that the Broncos make for a veteran QB somewhere else,” Klis said, mentioning Aaron Rodgers once again as a target, Russell Wilson or possibly even Jimmy Garoppolo (though that one seems less likely for the Broncos). “With one year left and a million and change on his contract, he’s very team affordable.”
Regardless where Lock lands in 2022 - and where his current head coach ends up - the QB2-turned-1 had a lot of good things to say about the man who ultimately decided his fate as a backup this season.
“I’ve learned a lot from Coach Fangio since I’ve been in this league,” he said. “Anytime you get to have a defensive head coach that, when you go into training camp, has a defense that’s not like what you would normally see on a Sunday, you learn a lot. You become a way better player being able to go against his defense. Even when you get to talk to him off the football field, just about certain tendencies he might see on a team that you’re playing this week. There’s been a lot of benefits to having him as a head coach.”