The Denver Broncos kicked off their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. This three-day mini-camp is the last true event of the team's offseason training program.
From there, it's the bleak six-week vacation that we call the NFL summer, and then, like manna from Football Heaven, training camp begins. From training camp on, it's a whirlwind.
From that whirlwind, third-year quarterback Drew Lock hopes to reap the starting job. Standing between Lock and that goal is veteran signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater.
Media got its first look at Bridgewater in Orange and Blue last week as the Broncos held their voluntary mini-camp which included 11-on-11 team drills for the first time this year. On Day 1 of those 11-on-11 drills, Bridgewater seemed to outshine Lock, which led to all manner of handwringing and 'told-ya-sos' by the vocal anti-Lock minority within media and the fanbase.
Despite head coach Vic Fangio rebutting the notion that Lock looked like he was "pressing" in last Monday's practice, which saw the young QB also nursing a finger blister on his throwing hand, the tropes began to swell and sweep far and wide that the former Missouri star was already behind the eight-ball, foreordained to be vanquished in open competition by the more experienced Bridgewater.
While outlets like Mile High Huddle cautioned against jumping to "any conclusions" (as Coach Fangio put it), many were so quick to condemn, hang, and bury Lock that their inertia could not forestall them from careening off the proverbial cliff.
Fast forward to Tuesday's first mandatory minicamp session, and the reviews on Lock's performance in 7-on-7 drills have rolled in. Darren McKee — co-host of 104.3 The FAN's market-dominating afternoon show The Drive — reported his impression of Lock on Twitter, dropping the 'D' word in the process.
"Well that just happened. Lock totally dominated practice. Not even close. He was very impressive and Teddy was safe and inaccurate. Big 'W' for Lock today," McKee tweeted.
While McKee was impressed by Lock's day, Cecil Lammey — one of his colleagues at The FAN, and one of the most well-regarded football analysts in the market — pumped the brakes on the notion of "domination."
The co-host of his own radio show on The FAN called Nick and Cecil, Lammey's insights are always valuable. As is with most issues of contention, the truth likely falls somewhere in the middle.
Still, it's got to be encouraging for Broncos fans to hear positive reviews of Lock coming from a press corps that has seemed ultra-reluctant to write or publish word-one of anything complimentary. Lammey, though, after reporting his impression of Lock starting off Tuesday's practice on shaky ground, went on to illustrate how the beleaguered QB finished strong.
As for Bridgewater's day at the office, Lammey provided some needed context.
As with most competitions, in a given week (or minicamp), one guy will win this day while the other might win that one. The key for either QB in this competition is for one of them to stack more Ws than the other by the time the Broncos get through the three-game slate of preseason games in August.
A disclaimer all fans should heed: just like last week, it was ill-advised to jump to a conclusion on Lock struggling in a minicamp practice, it would be equally unwise to cling to Tuesday's results as proof of some absolute outcome.
This competition will continue to rage between now and September and the best man will win. If the last week has proven anything, though, it's that all the offseason tropes of Lock being in over his head and outmatched by Bridgewater are as patently absurd as MHH has been trying to tell people from the get-go.
Let this thing play out.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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