The Denver Broncos on Tuesday introduced new general manager George Paton to the media through a Zoom press conference.
In addition to expressing his excitement over this new chapter in his personal and football life, Paton answered a variety of questions from the Denver media about his philosophies, current players on the roster, and the current infrastructure in place with the Broncos in general.
As is typically the case, executives don’t give too much away in press conferences but Paton gave good answers to the questions he was asked without giving away the team’s offseason blueprint.
At this point in the process, it’s too early for Paton to say one way or the other about specific, pressing issues facing the Denver Broncos.
There was plenty to take away from all that he said to the media, however, and not only what Paton said but what John Elway and Vic Fangio said in addition.
Here are the top five takeaways you need to know from the press conference, starting with the most important position on the team.
Denver Broncos introduce GM George Paton:
1. Is Drew Lock the guy?
First of all, let’s read what Paton had to say about Lock, and specifically what he thought about him coming out of the draft and whether he thinks the Broncos can win with him moving forward.
"I liked Drew coming out of the draft. Big arm, athletic, playmaker…I haven’t studied him, I haven’t gotten into a lot of tape. I’ve only been here four days. I’ve watched enough tape to know that he’s talented, he can develop, but I can’t comment on your second question as of yet. Broncos GM George Paton (via Zoom press conference)"
If you’re connecting the dots, and you can do so at your own risk, Paton mentioned how in his interviews with the Broncos (John Elway, Vic Fangio, Joe Ellis, and Patrick Smyth were involved in those) they had a shared vision for how they wanted to get the team in annual contention.
Paton has also emphasized the fact that he doesn’t want to take shortcuts, and that he believes in drafting and developing above all else.
Another important note to consider is what John Elway feels about Drew, because if the vision is shared by the brain trust, that obviously matters.
Elway also talked about the fact that this was not the easiest year on Lock as a player.
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio had this to say:
Fangio said also that he and the coaching staff would be able to answer questions here and there about what Lock was being told in certain situations, but he ultimately wants Paton to make his rightful decision as GM at the quarterback position without their influence over it.
Elway also added that the Broncos will “obviously” continue to look at the quarterback position because in the NFL you always are, and gave perhaps his most defensive quote of Drew Lock to date.
Again, we come back to Paton emphasizing a “shared vision” between he and John Elway, Vic Fangio, and Joe Ellis. That obviously has more to do with the big picture than just strictly the quarterback position, but based on everything we heard today, unless Paton comes away from a deep dive of film study with Drew Lock (which we already have here) thinking that he’s a complete hack, it would be shocking if Lock doesn’t get another year with better competition behind him.