Report: Broncos QB Drew Lock had 90-Minute Phone Call with Peyton Manning Talking Offseason Approach
Peyton Manning has forgotten more about football than even the most passionate fan will ever know. When he retired following the Denver Broncos' 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, he did so as the owner of every major passing record in NFL history.
Many of Manning's career marks have since been broken by the likes of Tom Brady and Drew Brees, both of whom are playing well into their 40s. That's what it takes to unseat Manning statistically. Two-plus decades of NFL experience.
Manning still is the only 5-time NFL MVP and he's also the only quarterback to start in and win a Super Bowl with two different teams. Manning did it with the Indianapolis Colts, leading them to two Super Bowl berths, winning one, and he did the same for the Broncos.
The distinction is that Manning's four-year run in Denver featured an unprecedented level of success, as if he managed to take everything he had learned and accomplished in 14 years in Indy and condense it into pure football efficiency in the Mile High City.
Times have been dark in Denver since 'The Sheriff' hung up his cleats. However, the Broncos appear to have 'bounced off the bottom' and are trending upwards once again, thanks to the emergence of QB Drew Lock.
The Broncos are no longer wandering the QB desert. Drafted with the 10th pick in the second round (42 overall), Lock debuted as a starter for the Broncos in Week 14 and promptly led the team to its strongest finish since Manning called the signals.
Lock's 4-1 record as a starter has given him and the team real momentum, prompting the Broncos to officially anoint him the starter heading into 2020. As the 2019 season ended, Lock made public his goal of reaching out to Manning — who still lives in Denver — to build on their acquaintance and get advice on how to best focus his training efforts during the offseason.
Due to a little vacation, which was followed by a procedure to have his wisdom teeth removed, Lock and Manning weren't able to hook up in January. But thanks to a new report by one of Manning's former teammates and close friend, Brandon Stokley, we've learned that Lock has spent nearly two hours on the phone with Manning importuning him for advice on the offseason.
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While Lock will certainly get great coaching and a plan of attack from OC Pat Shurmur and QBs Coach Mike Shula, that relationship can't really take shape in earnest until the Broncos convene for their first OTAs following the draft. Meanwhile, Lock can take Manning's advice on film study habits, when and how to start throwing, and getting the receivers together and put a plan of action in place.
Lock showed a lot in his first five starts. The Broncos are excited about what they have in him. But he can't rest on his laurels. As good as Lock was at times down the stretch, he still has a lot of room to grow, as GM John Elway said on Tuesday from the Combine.
Sky's the limit for Lock. It's just a matter of putting in the work required to bridge the gap from where he finished his rookie season to where he wants to be when year two begins.
It's good that Lock isn't taking anything for granted and that he's seeking the advice of arguably the greatest QB in NFL history. It shows a humbleness but also a drive to become the best possible player he can.
What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall, or a bug on that phone call, while Manning dished to Lock.