Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock Still Believes in His Future: ‘There’s No Game You Can’t Ride With Me’ – NFL Nation

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DENVER – Drew Lock opened training camp last summer, believing he had what it takes to be the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback.

And Saturday night, when he closed out a 2021 season, used mostly as a backup, he had exactly the same thought. Lock said without hesitation after the Broncos’ 28-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that he thinks he has what it takes to be the team’s starter.

“I do, I feel that way – again,” Lock said. “By winning in this league, you always want to win, we did not do that [Saturday]. … [But] I feel like if you put me out there, there’s not a play you can not ride with me. I can make a throw here, I can make a throw there, I was waiting for the opportunity to show you guys, I can run around and they gave it to me. But that’s not a surprise to me. “I feel like I can go to the locker room with these guys and fire them up, get them ready to play, and that’s exactly what we saw.”

Lock, who lost a training match to Teddy Bridgewater in August for the starting job, started the Broncos’ last three games of the season with Bridgewater in the league’s concussion record. In those three combined starts – all of the Broncos’ losses to formally end their playoff chances – Lock threw a touchdown pass without interruption.

On Saturday, he rushed for two touchdowns, the first Broncos quarterback to do so in a game since Tim Tebow did so in 2011. Lock, who has a year left on the rookie deal he signed after he was an election in the second round in 2019, reaffirmed that he would like to be a part of the future when general manager George Paton begins to decide who stays and who goes in a quest to end the now six-year-long playoffs -drought.

“There’s no doubt a foundation in that locker room,” Lock said. “I would like to think there may be a foundation with me in it, but you know it’s not my choice.”

A lot has happened with Lock since the Broncos went 4-1 with him behind center to close out his rookie season. The team switched offensive coordinators to Pat Shurmur after that season, and COVID-19 wiped out all offseason work before the ’20 season.

Lock was then just leading the league in interceptions last season, was last among the league’s starters in completion rate and missed a start for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols. This ball uncertainty was a major cause, perhaps the biggest, Paton, who arrived in January last year, switched to Bridgewater in April last year.

Bridgewater won the training match and became one of the team’s most important voices in the locker room. Along the way, he also became one of the key figures in Lock’s own progress, at least this side of offseason discussions with people like Peyton Manning.

“I love Drew, man,” said left tackle Garett Bolles. “… I love him, I think he has grown dramatically, I think Teddy has pushed him in so many directions. … He did not have anyone who would push him 24/7 like Teddy did, no respect for anyone else who was here but he did not have the person who would put his arm around him, watch movies with him and say to him, ‘Hi Drew, that’s not what we do’ or ‘Hey Drew, look at this. ‘… [Lock] being a great quarterback, it’s going to take some time for him. I think he has a great future. “

Saturday Lock completed 12 of 24 passes in 162 yards. It was the second time in the last three weeks he has thrown in less than 200 yards. Although he has not thrown an interception in his last four appearances, the last interception he threw this year – Nov. 28 against the Los Angeles Chargers – conjured up almost every memory of last season’s reckless throw in traffic when the Broncos were in the scoring zone.

At one point this season, he had lost the ball, either by fumbling or tapping four times in about four-quarter play. He appeared in six games in a row this season, and the Broncos won only one of them – the Chargers game, with Bridgewater scoring two of the Broncos’ three touchdowns and Denver cornerback Pat Surtain II scoring the other.

That’s the information Paton needs to work on when considering any and all moves the Broncos may or may not make as a quarterback in the coming weeks and months.

“I thought he had a good match, I thought he threw some really nice passes,” coach Vic Fangio said on Saturday. “It’s clear that his scrambling ability showed up in style. I thought he was playing his best match. Part of that has been when he’s played this season, he’s come in relief with not much preparation. Last week was a COVID-19 week and we did not get to practice much.This week was really the first week he had a chance to practice at a normal pace and get some work in and I think it turned out . “

Bridgewater is scheduled to be an unlimited free agent in March, while Paton will have some of the best salary cap in the league with 11 drafts already on hand by next April.

For Lock, it can mean a lot of wait-and-see before he actually knows where he wants to be.

“I learned more than I thought I would, from people I never thought I would,” Lock said. “… I thought I met adversity before, but nothing like this year. … When you get the game from you … it’s different. … [But] it lives in me, it breathes in me, it’s who I am, I’m a quarterback. “

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