Scangarello: Drew Lock Showed 'Great Poise' in First Career Start
Drew Lock made his NFL debut in Week 13, leading the Denver Broncos to a 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. Since then, we've heard Vic Fangio share his observations on the topic, which included words like 'promise' and 'encouragement'.
But how does Lock's play-caller and the guy whose favor he has probably had to work the hardest to attain, feel about his first career start? Offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello shared his Lock takeaways on Thursday during his weekly presser at Broncos HQ.
"He settled in after the first series and I thought he showed great poise,” Scangarello said.
Lock's first series was a three-and-out, which included a misfire deep to Courtland Sutton. It was evident that the rookie had some early-game jitters and that he'd have to overcome them if the game was going to turn out well for the Broncos.
Lock did just that and with gusto, leading the Broncos on back-to-back touchdown drives that each culminated in a Sutton scoring grab. Before Scangarello knew it, the Broncos were sitting with a 14-0 nothing lead to open the second quarter.
Lock went 18-of-28 for 134 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception vs. the Chargers. Nothing to write home about statistically, although there was one eyebrow-raising metric that came out of it, but Lock passed the eye test. It was, as Coach Fangio said, a promising and encouraging debut at least.
But Lock has plenty to build on, as Scangarello touched on.
“He’s a young quarterback that—he turned one over on a play that he had gotten a look all week that he expected something to happen," Scangarello said. "It’s live and it’s a little bit different, and he kind of got baited. That’s something that he’s got to bank. All in all, it’s just a comfort, the routine and the ease of which just playing the game comes from not doing anything for eight weeks. He was anxious early, to say the least. His pregame routine, all that, it’s all foreign to him."
This week's opponent — the Houston Texans — features an explosive offense and a stingy and stout defense. It'll be Lock's first career road start, and so naturally, the variables will be different than they were last week. The question is, can Lock roll with the punches?
“He has to evolve with the different style defense, going on the road and different things that are asked of him," Scangarello said. "It’s a whole new set of challenges. It’s more about [the] second time through the routine of preparation, pre-game warmup, how you break the huddle and all those things. Those are the things that we’re continuing to get better at and evolve at the finer points. That’s what he has to continue to improve on as a player in this league. The Texans are going to present a whole different set of elements for him. That alone is the variable.”
It'll be interesting to see how the rookie handles his first road test and whether he can show some growth game-to-game. Suffice to say, I like Lock's odds, but this week, if the Broncos are going to keep up with DeShaun Watson and company, Scangarello is going to have to take his foot off the brakes, especially in the second half.