Denver Broncos: When will work with Manning show up for Drew Lock?
By Noah Smith
Play Under Pressure
Whether under the physical pressure of the opposing pass rush or the mental pressure of a game-winning drive, Drew Lock often struggled when the pressure was on during the 2020 NFL Season.
Many of the NFL’s best quarterbacks use the blitz to their advantage by identifying the blitz pre-snap and punishing the defense with a wide-open receiver streaking downfield. Rarely did we see Lock take advantage of defenses like this.
Teams will continue to pressure Drew Lock until he proves that he can make them pay for doing so. Lock can help himself by recognizing the blitz more quickly at the line, and making faster decisions while being pressured.
While the physical pressure of being blitzed is a tall task to overcome, Lock must also learn to settle himself down mentally in the big moments. In the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead, Drew Lock had a chance to convert a fourth-down play to give his team a chance to win.
Instead, Lock overthrew his target and was intercepted by a Kansas City defender.
While Lock’s gunslinger mentality has the ability to help the Denver Broncos, it also has a chance to hurt them. Lock must continue to build his confidence to sustain game-winning drives, and help his team win close games.
When will we see the work?
Unfortunately, we won’t truly see the work Lock has done until the regular season. Teams don’t show their hand in the preseason concerning exotic blitzes and coverages, meaning Lock won’t have the opportunity to truly test himself in the highest heat of competition.
Similarly, teams rarely play starters for significant minutes in the preseason, meaning Lock wouldn’t have a chance to execute a game-winner in the preseason. We will likely see plenty of nail biters during the regular season due to Denver’s potentially shut-down unit on defense, giving Lock and the offense a chance to be the hero plenty of times for the Denver Broncos.