As Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater continue to compete for the privilege of being the Denver Broncos starting quarterback, every rep and every word is being hyper-analyzed. From the outside looking in, these two signal-callers have crossed swords and are in a duel for their NFL starting careers.
On the inside, though, the dynamic between Lock and Bridgewater is far less contentious. Lock has said nothing but positive things about Bridgewater in the press and the QBs can be seen joking on the practice field during warm-ups and stretching periods.
After Bridgewater showed up for voluntary OTAs last week, we heard from a few Broncos wideouts what their initial impressions were of Bridgewater's game, and, specifically, his arm. Jerry Jeudy — whom Bridgewater seems to already have established a mind-meld — described Lock's passes as "hard" while saying Teddy's are more of a "floater."
Translation: Bridgewater is more of a finesse thrower who wins with his anticipation. Lock has the arm strength to throw a marshmallow through a battleship. KJ Hamler's review of both quarterbacks last week had Lock and Bridgewater both dropping "dimes."
Bridgewater smiled when asked about Jeudy's description of his passes, saying in good humor, “I say it’s a catchable pass.
In a one-on-one with 9NEWS' Mike Klis, Bridgewater complimented Lock's game and talked about the former Missouri star's arm strength.
“My game is totally different from Drew’s game. Drew’s arm is off the charts. Some of the throws he's able to make, you sit back and you admire it. My game is try to anticipate, try to play fast. I’m not the guy who’s is going to throw the ball 80 yards downfield, so if I can be on time with my feet and anticipate the throws, then I'm playing at my best.”
Bridgewater is simply a phenomenal leader. He's a builder of men. Even a guy he's competing with, like Lock, gets uplifted by Bridgewater's remarks.
That skill-set, if Bridgewater wins the job, will serve the Broncos well. If Lock vanquishes Bridgewater, that leadership will still pay dividends as the backup. Just listen to how the former Minnesota Vikings' first-round pick talked about the Broncos' young receiving corps after Tuesday's practice.
“Every group is unique. They all have unique relationships with each other, and they all have unique relationships with their quarterbacks and the rest of the team," Bridgewater said via Zoom. "This group, it’s a bunch of young guys who have made some plays in this league, who had some success in this league and then there’s some guys who are eager to make a name for themselves in this league. But the one thing that I notice about those guys is every day they come to work and they’re hungry. When you have that type of mindset, special things are in store for you.”
Bridgewater is an inspiring figure. The Broncos did well by bringing him to Denver.
After Bridgewater purportedly got the best of Lock on Day 1 of last week's voluntary practices, Lock came out on top on Day 1 of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, "dominating" the proceedings according to one report. As most competitions go, the players in question will likely trade-off, winning some days, losing others.
The key, again, is to stack more wins in your column than the other guy. At this stage, it's so early, it's pointless to speculate on which QB has the edge at Broncos minicamp.
As for the Aaron Rodgers trade rumors, neither quarterback is wasting their mental energies worrying about it. Bridgewater has been around the block and Lock understands that when you go 5-11, all bets are off.
In the NFL, nothing is promised. It's a production-based business and these two QBs are focused on making hay while the sun is shining.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!