ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Several weeks ago, as Vic Fangio was trying to downplay the importance of playing rookie quarterback Drew Lock, the head coach relayed a story of John Fourcade.
Fangio didn't call out Fourcade by name as he was delivering his history lesson but some local media members are old enough to remember and everyone has access to Google.
To review, Fangio was coaching linebackers for the New Orleans Saints in 1989, when starting quarterback Bobby Hebert was benched for the final three games.
Fourcade came in and was terrific, going 3-0 while leading the Saints to 31 points a game. Fourcade threw for 7 touchdowns against just 3 interceptions while averaging 276.3 passing yards in those three impressive wins.
The next year, 1990, Hebert held out over a contract dispute. The Saints didn’t negotiate much because they had Fourcade.
Who promptly started the season 0-2 with 0 touchdown passes and 6 interceptions.
"You can get a false positive," Fangio said back on November 20, as he tried to quell the local media pressure to play Lock.
Well, Lock has now played four games for the Broncos, with one more to go Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. So far, he’s mostly played well. Lock is 3-1 with 6 touchdown passes against 3 interceptions.
>> Listen to the game recap on Klis' Mike Drop podcast below
He was a gunslinger while slicing up the heavily favored Texans in Houston three weeks ago, but then struggled while still throwing some nice balls in a driving snowstorm against the Kansas City Chiefs. Lock rebounded Sunday by playing a smart, game-manager style of game to rally the Broncos past the Lions, 27-17.
Fangio was reminded Monday of the history lesson he gave to the media five weeks ago about Fourcade. Does he believe Lock has done enough to show he’s not a “false positive?”
"Yeah, I’m very encouraged by what Drew has done these four games," Fangio said. "Part of it is, too, because of the negative. We played a tough game in a tough environment (at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City) a week ago against a great team and things didn’t go well, but I liked the way he handled it."
Don’t expect Broncos general manager John Elway to select a quarterback in the early rounds of the 2020 draft. Look instead for Elway to try and build the team around Lock, who has earned the right to become the Broncos’ opening-day quarterback next year.
"He’s done enough to show that he definitely could be the guy," Fangio said. "We’re looking for that to be the case."
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