ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — John Elway held up strong to the onslaught of criticism and through Drew Lock, fixed the mistake that was Paxton Lynch.
So said Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid in a conference all with the Denver media Wednesday.
Reid was asked about his reaction when Elway, the Broncos' general manager, ignored the NFL trend of making a young offensive mind his next head coach and instead hired an older defensive-rooted coordinator in Vic Fangio.
“I told John that, I thought it was a great hire,’’ Reid said. “I love the defensive personnel there. I got to know some of those guys at the Pro Bowl, their attitude and everything. They like to compete, and they play hard.’’
And then Reid made a left turn from Fangio and talked about Elway’s maneuver to land Lock, the Broncos’ rookie quarterback who is the league’s hot new quarterback after playing so well through his first two games.
“I thought John did a phenomenal job, and Vic, of drafting Drew,’’ Reid said. “There are some things there that you look at, the quarterback that they had drafted from Memphis (Lynch) and he didn’t sit there and hang his head over that. He said, ‘Listen, I’ve got to fix this.’ And he did.
“That’s not an easy thing to do in this league with you guys (the media) and the pressure that’s put on by outside sources. He didn’t let any of that get in the way, and he attacked the issue.
“This is good for the AFC West. It’s good for the National Football League. We’re all in it to compete, and this is a good thing.”
Whoa. There may eventually be time to pump the brakes on the Drew Lock Bandwagon but it’s not this week. Not after his stunning, record-setting performance last week at Houston in which he became the first NFL rookie ever to throw for 3 touchdowns and more than 300 yards in his first-ever road game.
“I try to stay away from trying to get too wrapped up in all the media stuff,’’ Lock said. “I definitely feel like just from this building, there’s a good buzz. Guys are excited, we’re starting to play hard and have a little juice behind everything that we do, so that’s been fun. I try to stay in this building as much as I can.”
The game Sunday between Lock’s Broncos and Reid’s Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium is a homecoming of sorts for Lock, who grew up 14 miles down the road in Lee’s Summit, Mo. He’s used to playing in front of his home folks as he played four years at Missouri, which is less than a 2-hour drive away.
Reid was asked if he watched Lock play at Lee Summit High School six or seven years back.
"I didn't get over there, but I followed him,’’ Reid said. “His dad played for me at Missouri, he was an offensive lineman--Andy Lock. I've kind of known about him for a while."
Andy Lock was the starting right guard for the Missouri Tigers in 1989, when Reid was his offensive line coach. Andy Lock owns several concepts restaurant in the greater Kansas City area and stays in touch with Reid.
Maybe not this week. Lock grew up a Chiefs’ fan, went to “too many to count” games at Arrowhead and said returner/receiver Dante Hall was his favorite player on the team.
“I think one of the fond memories—I have two of them—was the Colts in the playoffs with Peyton (Manning, a 38-31 Indianapolis win in January 2004) and it’s funny, Joe (Flacco) at Kansas City, the year they went and did their thing.’’
Actually, it was January 2011 Ravens’ win against the Chiefs, two years before Flacco’s magical Super Bowl 47 run.
“It’s funny, I ended up here and Peyton played here and now I ended up here with Joe,’’ Lock said. “It’s kind of crazy to think those two were in two of the biggest games I remember there. Now, I’m kind of tightly-knit with them now.”
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