Amid the ongoing Aaron Rodgers trade rumors, from the outside looking in, it feels like Denver Broncos incumbent quarterback Drew Lock is looking for any port in the storm. All the talking points emanating from Dove Valley have postured Lock in a fight with Teddy Bridgewater to retain his place under center.
Bridgewater was unveiled as a Bronco this past week which only turned up the heat on Lock. Thankfully for Lock, his No. 1 wide receiver Courtland Sutton recently went to bat for him and revealed that the third-year quarterback is attacking 2021 with a newfound zeal.
“Being able to see him this offseason he’s been up here pretty much every day since the season ended,” Sutton told KOARadio's Benjamin Allbright and Ryan Edwards of Broncos Country Tonight. “I get to see him pretty much every day. I talked to the dude and his mind is on a different level when it comes to the game right now.”
Entering Year 3, Lock has to prove he is learning and maturing if he is going to cement his place with the Broncos and in the league, and Sutton’s recent recovery from a torn ACL can only help. Injuries also hampered Lock’s early development, including a sprained thumb on his throwing hand as a rookie and an injury to his throwing shoulder in Week 2 of last season.
When it comes to the Lock doubters, there are justifiable concerns over his tendency to force throws and commit turnovers. But, the lack of a proper offseason due to the pandemic resulted in a lack of vital reps for Lock in 2020, and it showed, but Sutton explained that is now changing for the better while indirectly criticizing the impatience of the boo-birds in the fanbase and media.
“You can tell that he’s understanding the game even more,” Sutton told KOARadio. “I think a lot of people slept on the patience part of it. He’s so close. I firmly believe he’s needed the reps and needs the reps.”
When training camp opens the early buzz is that Lock and Bridgewater will get an even 50/50 split of reps as the two duel for the starting gig, so the wisdom of not giving Lock 100% of the reps is questionable. For now, if Lock wants the extra workload of full reps, it will have to be earned.
From Sutton’s perspective, he has seen his QB taking stock of where he has gone wrong previously in order to make the necessary improvements to hold down the starting job.
“Being able to go back and do self-evaluation, I think he understands what he needs work on and he’s been working his butt off all offseason.” Sutton told Broncos Country tonight. “He’s excited for the opportunity and I know we’re all excited for him.”
Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.
Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!