Denver Broncos: Elway, Fangio, teammates encouraged by Lock’s debut

John Elway, Vic Fangio, and his fellow Denver Broncos teammates were encouraged by rookie quarterback Drew Lock’s debut against the Chargers.

It should come as no surprise that the folks in charge of the Denver Broncos were impressed by Drew Lock’s 2019 debut.

Even those who have no skin in the game came away impressed with what Lock was able to do with only one week as the starter in practice and only three weeks of practice since he injured his thumb in preseason play.

It’s natural for Broncos Country to pump the brakes a little bit regarding Lock’s debut considering it is just one game, but the fact of the matter is, a lot of what people thought about Lock was validated in this one game not only from what he showed on the field, but what his bosses and teammates had to say about him after the fact.

Head coach Vic Fangio has not been shy about critiquing Lock’s game since he came to the Broncos, even calling him a ‘pitcher who couldn’t pitch’ at one point in training camp, but Fangio was impressed with what he saw from Lock, for the most part.

“Just that I think he did a good job handling the situation. Pre-snap, emotionally, didn’t feel like it got too big for him at any point in the game. That was kind of the most encouraging.”

Vic Fangio (quotes via Broncos PR)

Lock admitted he was a little ‘antsy’ on his first drive, but that everything settled down for him after he got that first drive out of the way.

General manager John Elway attributed some of Lock’s missed throws to ‘rust’ from not having a ton of time on task since the preseason, but Elway was also encouraged with what he saw from the rookie quarterback, specifically in his ability to explain what he was seeing from the defense and explaining some of his decisions, good or bad.

Running back Phillip Lindsay also spoke about Lock’s debut and even revealed a little bit about the playbook being a bit limited for Lock’s debut and how the team could open things up after seeing Lock play well this past weekend.

“Drew did a great job of handling his first game. He was really smooth, fluent and confident. I think that he’s just going to continue to build off of it. I think that we’re going to continue to add more plays in the playbook for him to be more successful and add a couple more checks because I think he understands it and it puts us in a better situation at different times. I’m excited to see that and just excited to see his development from Game 1 to the rest of the games coming up.”

RB Phillip Lindsay

One of the underrated things about Lock coming out of Missouri was the fact that he played in a variety of different offenses in his four years on campus. He understands how to pick things up rather quickly and work well within whatever system he’s being asked to run.

We also heard from Dalton Risner after the game a story about how Lock would be up at all hours of the night repeating plays out loud, pretending like he was getting calls in from the offensive coordinator, and getting reps that way.

This guy has a tremendous work ethic and is obviously willing to put in the work to be great.

Once again, it’s only one game from Lock, but it’s also a very encouraging first game and for the Broncos, who are absolutely starved at quarterback, it’s nice that we’re not just talking about a couple of lucky throws or trying to sift between a lot of bad plays to find a silver lining.

Lock showed confidence running the offense, and he looked like he belonged out there against a really good defense from Los Angeles that was throwing a lot at him and had just gotten their best player — safety Derwin James — back from injured reserve.

Next: 4 players who must stay, 4 who must go

Lock has big-time potential and while the Broncos know they will need to be patient with him through his rookie struggles, he has a chance over the next four games to show that he can be the guy for this team for the foreseeable future.