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Bronco notes: Lock wants to stop getting in position to overcome

Fangio and Payton match wits of defense vs. offense. Broncos activate LB Mark Barron, cut LeVante Bellamy.
Credit: AP
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) throws against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos General Manager John Elway was on Broncos TV the other day praising Broncos quarterback Drew Lock for his resilience.

Could have watched 9News to hear similar commentary. Difference is, it seemed to mean more to Lock to hear from his superior than from a reporter.

To Lock’s credit, he understands resilience is a two-sided description. To overcome, one must first get in a jam.

“It means a lot to hear from a guy like that—to hear from technically your boss,’’ Lock said. “But, I want to have him be able to answer questions about how good we were in the first half and how good we were all game instead of those resilient answers—pushing through the tough stuff. It's time for us to go out and play well for four quarters and get this thing rolling.”

The Broncos have been outscored 131-70 in the first half this year.

Lock has just one touchdown pass in the first half this season against four interceptions. He has six touchdown passes, and six interceptions, in the fourth quarter.

Fangio vs. Payton

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, who’s been coaching NFL defenses forever – starting with Saints’ linebackers in 1986 – and Saints head coach Sean Payton, who’s been coaching NFL offenses forever – starting with Eagles’ quarterbacks in 1997 – have a healthy mutual respect for each other.

“I know Vic well and shoot, his family and my family are from the same hometown,’’ Payton said in a conference call with the Denver media Wednesday.

Payton’s mom and dad are from Scranton, Pa., which is less than two miles from Fangio’s hometown of Dunsmore. (Payton spent his high school years in Naperville, Ill.).

“I have a cousin I think taught him sixth grade math, but he's done a great job,’’ Payton said. “He always presents challenges with his base defensive package and his sub defensive package. They can match you or play you in either, which really can create some problems.

“They've always been extremely well-coached and San Francisco, Chicago and I think this defense is playing awfully well as well."

Fangio was asked if he enjoys the challenge of matching wits against a creative offensive play caller like Payton.

“No. I’d rather go against somebody less capable than he is,’’ Fangio said. “Sean is an excellent play caller and he always has been and has continued to be. He’s actually getting better—that’s hard to believe—but I’ve always felt he’s one of the best play callers in the league.”

Broncos Bits

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos running back LeVante Bellamy (32) takes part in drills during an NFL football training practice Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Broncos waived rookie running back LeVante Bellamy, who had just been activated off injured reserve, to make room for veteran linebacker Mark Barron, who was activated on to the 53-man roster Wednesday after spending the first 11 weeks on injured reserve. The Broncos hope Bellamy clears waivers so they can sign him back on their practice squad. Then again, the Broncos held similar hope for veteran offensive tackle Jake Rodgers, but he was claimed off waivers Wednesday by the Baltimore Ravens...

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2019. file photo, Denver Broncos offensive tackle Jake Rodgers (69) looks to block an Arizona Cardinals player during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Denver. The Denver Broncos could be relying on a jumbled offensive line this weekend in the regular season finale against Oakland. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

Defensive lineman Shelby Harris has recovered from COVID to the point he has returned to Broncos’ headquarters from conditioning but he is not yet cleared to practice. It appears Harris will miss a fourth consecutive game because of COVID protocols...

Credit: AP Photo/Steven Senne
Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris leaves the field after an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass.

Defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, out since November 1 with the virus, is rehabbing at the team facilities but is not yet cleared to return to coaching on-site.

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