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Grading the Broncos QB competition is not complicated, or easy

Fangio: "I see no separation" between Bridgewater and Lock.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Let’s give two of the Broncos’ three training camp practices to Drew Lock with Teddy Bridgewater leading the quarterback competition overall.

This can be explained. Lock barely edged Bridgewater on Wednesday and Friday with tiebreakers being his terrific deep-in throw to Jerry Jeudy near the end of practice Wednesday, and a sensational deep post pass to KJ Hamler for a touchdown during a 7 on 7 drill Friday.

Lock had a tough practice Thursday, though, especially through the first two team periods, although he did rally late during a redzone/goal-to-go drill.

Bridgewater, meanwhile, has been Steady Teddy all three days. He was the better quarterback by a considerable margin Thursday, and lost by a smidge the other two days. Bridgewater played well on Wednesday and Friday, too. He just didn’t have those tiebreaker “wow” throws that Lock made.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater, front, and Drew Lock take part in drills at an NFL football training camp at team headquarters Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

There is chatter that Bridgewater checks it down a bit too often, but he connected on at least three medium-ranged passes Friday.

"There’s a fine line there," said Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. "Checkdowns are good. But you need more than checkdowns. We need the right mix of that."

Lock already has a reputation of having wondrous talent who can make throws few others can, but also throws too many to the other team.

"I don’t know what the intelligent equation would be but one (bleepy) play that could really effect the game, how many “wow” plays do you need to make to wipe that off the books?" Fangio said. "I don’t know the answer to that."

Bridgewater has yet to make a (bleepy) play. If this were Wall Street instead of UCHealth Training Center, Lock would be the growth stock -- big returns but risky -- and Bridgewater would be the value stock -- efficient and steady but not spectacular.

They could practice from now until 2025 and these quarterbacks may not change. Lock will be the more talented quarterback who is prone to mistakes; Bridgewater is less talented, more conservative, but smarter with the football.

But never mind the opinion here. What do the people who matter think?

"I see no separation if that’s what you’re asking," Fangio said.

"I think the quarterback competition is going good," said tight end Noah Fant. "Both quarterbacks are doing great. Drew is showing some really good things. Teddy is being a leader. It’s not my job to choose which one wins the job, but I like catching passes from both. I’ll be honest with you. I think they are different in their own way, but they are both really good quarterbacks for us. That’s what we’re riding with. I couldn’t tell you which one it’s going to be, but it’s going to be one of them."

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