Denver Broncos: John Elway found a “Rock Star” in Drew Lock
John Elway may have his ‘Rock Star’ in Drew Lock.
As a player, John Elway was a Rock-Star. He was a charismatic and uber-talented athlete playing the most important position in American sports. He was the sports version of the ultimate “Rock Star”.
As a general manager of the Denver Broncos, Elway has struggled to find a long-term answer at quarterback for the team he played with over 16 seasons.
Elway was able to secure arguably the greatest quarterback of all time (Peyton Manning through free agency), yet still took shots at putting the Denver Broncos in position to have a starter the team could lean on for a decade.
From Brock Osweiler’s development and bail to the Paxton Lynch debacle, the Broncos have been starved for a legitimate “Face of the Franchise” player like Super Bowl winners Elway and Peyton Manning.
Does Elway believe he has a “Rock Star”?
NFL reporter Kalyn Kahler put together some great quotes in a case that maybe, just maybe Drew Lock is the guy.
Elway hopes that the 42nd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft shows that the “Duke” has one comeback still in him.
John Elway has not invested in anyone without significant game tape or production year after year (see Justin Simmons’s current situation), but he believes in Lock.
Elway has referenced his difficulties in matching talent with charisma. Right after the draft, Elway spoke about believing in Lock after just five starts in the NFL.
"“I think the thing about quarterbacks [is] you can see the physical talent on tape. You can see how they throw it, how they move, how they go through reads, how they’re able to get through reads and progressions and all that. You can see all that on tape, and I always think the No. 1 thing with quarterbacks that’s difficult to read is how they’re going to handle the situation, how they’re going to handle the pressure of the NFL when the lights get turned on. How are they going to handle it? Eighty percent of the quarterbacks that fail … they can’t adjust to that and can’t get used to that and understand the expectations of them in that position. …We knew [Lock] had the physical ability to move around. He [ran] a 4.6 at the Combine. But how he was going to handle the whole situation with the lights turned on, and I think that was the most encouraging thing that we saw was he enjoyed playing the game. He came in like he’d been there before. He was able to bounce back from mistakes and not let mistakes bother him. …What we saw mostly in those last five games that he started, [was that] he has the mental capacity not only to handle the offense but also to handle all the things outside that with all the pressure that goes along with being the quarterback.”Quote via Denver Broncos media"
Locker room begins to see what they have in Drew “Rock Star” Lock
Lock has not just convinced his general manager but has seemed to get the buy-in of his locker room.
It seems that Lock has won over teammates since arriving in Denver with his tremendous arm-talent along with charisma. There is that word again, “charisma”.
Like Elway, Manning, and Jake Plummer, the Broncos has had talented leaders at the position since number 7 arrived in 1983.
Though most of the media believe Lock has it, the important voices come from the locker room.
Von Miller has been heard often providing praise to the Broncos young quarterback.
Though Miller is gregarious and overly positive, professional athletes do not just give out praise. They have their credibility on the line and too much riding on their careers to get behind a guy who can’t play.
Receiving praise from Head Coach Vic Fangio is even a bit tougher.
Fangio, a no-nonsense leader, only hands out praise when it is overtly deserved and in small doses.
"“There was obviously some stuff from the other day’s practice at the stadium that will be good learning experiences for him as it was for our whole team. I like where he’s at. I think it was good the other night to go down there and do that work, get in the stadium, get in the big-league park, although there’s not fans, but the crowd noise kind of made it feel real. I like where he’s at.”Vic Fangio (quotes via Broncos PR)"
It might seem slight, but Fangio’s comments ring loudly to those who understand his message. Fangio is unfazed by poor scrimmages, or untimely interceptions in practice because he knows what he has, and who Lock still can be.
Mind you, this Fangio is a guy who did not believe early. Lock had to jump through hoops to earn a late-season stretch of starts. Fangio wasn’t sold. He needed to see what Lock had, and Fangio has liked what he has seen.
Charisma will help lock reach “Rock Star” status
Lock’s rise to the upper echelon of the NFL won’t be because of his talented arm. It will be because of his charisma.
Drew Lock has shown the desire to become a “Rock Star”.
My fellow Predominantly Orange crew member Cameron Parker believed it way back when.
From torching the Houston Texans to spitting Young Jeezy on the sidelines, Lock just has “it”. Charisma seeps out of his pores. That happens with players who hit “Rock Star” status.
Though Lock has a lot to prove to the NFL in his first full season as a starter, he has all the makings of a face of the franchise leader.
The type of quarterback the Broncos has been accustomed to. Like Elway. Like Manning.
Lock can become the “Rock Star” this organization needs and vault this franchise back into annual championship aspirations.
Elway believes he has found the team’s next great quarterback and is most likely wagering his job on it.
Lock’s teammates and coaches believe in him.
Broncos Country believes it to has its “Rock Star”.
Or shall we say, its “Lock Star.”
I’ll see myself out, stage left.