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Life, virus and football according to Lock: Broncos QB carries mature confidence into year two

Lock shared his unique perspective during Zoom media call Monday.
Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) after an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Houston.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — If playing NFL quarterback were like the corporate world and it came down to the interview, Drew Lock would get every job.

It’s not that he tries to be glib or impress. The Broncos’ second-year quarterback is genuinely engaged with each question and offers insightful responses. Yes, with perhaps a touch of naivete and refreshing candor.

During a Zoom video Friday with the Denver media, Lock was asked about how he and his teammates will approach living outside Broncos headquarters in light of the coronavirus health risks.

“You’re going to have to live a little different,’’ Lock said. “I know in college you’re used to winning on Saturday and going out with the boys and hitting the town. You can’t do that now. You wouldn’t necessarily do that anyways once you get to the NFL, but you especially can’t do that now. It’s just that you have to be smart.”

For Denver media reasons, it would help if Lock continued to play as he did during his late-season audition in 2019, when he made several clutch throws in leading the 3-8 team he inherited to a 4-1 finish.

There are hinderances to Lock keeping up that type of play, though. Namely, a coronavirus pandemic that forced the NFL to shut down its offseason training activities (OTAs) and cancel its four preseason games.

For a young Broncos’ offense – besides the still relatively inexperienced Lock, the team will try to break in two rookie receivers in Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, plus a new offensive coordinator in Pat Shurmur – missing out on OTAs and the preseason figures to hurt them more than say, the Kansas City Chiefs, whose quarterback Patrick Mahomes II and all his weapons have been operating Andy Reid’s offense, to great success, for going on four years.

Lock, though, has discovered an optimistic way of viewing the missed offseason and exhibition tests.

“I think everyone gets 24 hours in a day,’’ Lock said. “We’re all allowed the same amount of time in our facility. We all have professional coaches that have been in this game for a long time. We all get to learn and be with them the same amount of time. It’s an even playing ground.

“Yes, we are young, but when you’re young, you’re pretty hungry right as you get in here. Maybe we could be at an advantage being young and having a lot of motivation whereas guys who have been in for a long time—I know they’re still hungry because they want to be super good, but maybe they’ll take a little off—‘We know stick (a receiver route). I’m not going to write my notes on stick.’

“We’re writing notes on everything right now. We’re making sure that we’re really clear and precise there because we are a new offense to where we’re going pick up the minor details whereas five years into it—‘We’ll fix that when it comes,’ kind of deal.”

There was much discussion last year about Lock carrying himself with a youthful swagger. It’s more of a mature confidence this year.

“What I learned when I got here is that once you gain the respect of the older guys and the heads of the organization here—that should be your first ultimate goal to gain the respect of the guys around you,’’ Lock said. “For me to be able to feel like what I did last year and the comments from everyone this offseason, and just being able to walk into the locker room and feel like I have the respect of everybody, that is 100 percent the one goal that I set for that first year, just gaining respect from this team.

“Now that I have that, there’s no worries about personalities making relationships because we all know who I am, I know everybody on this team, I know how they act, I know who they are as person.

“Now it’s time to where if I need to jump someone, I’m not the rookie anymore yelling at a third, fourth year guy. It’s ‘That’s Drew yelling at us. That’s Drew getting on us.’

“It’s a whole different mentality behind having a second-year quarterback rather than a rookie quarterback. I honestly really feel that coming into this second year.’’

This from a guy who already got the job. Maybe his mindset, his infectious personality will also help him keep it.

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