With Lock in the Lineup, Phillip Lindsay Believes Broncos' 'Future is Bright'
Most, if not all, of Broncos Country's hopes now depend on the growing youth movement within the organization. Despite the Denver Broncos 2019 season slipping away, a nucleus of talent is emerging that could see a return to glory not too far over the horizon.
While most new talent has arrived through the draft process, like this season's star performers — Courtland Sutton and Justin Simmons — it’s an undrafted gem who continues to be the pulse of this team as he rapidly matures into a locker room leader.
As this season has progressed, Phillip Lindsay has continued to feel the positive vibes that have been building even in the face of several late-game heartaches, the Broncos' last-second 23-20 win over the L.A. Chargers last week notwithstanding.
"The future is bright. It really is," Lindsay said on Wednesday. "You have to go through growing pains like we have been going through in order to be a great football team. You’ve got to go through the fire. You’ve got to know how it feels to lose and know how it feels to be in that certain situation, so that you can pull yourself out of it."
Lindsay is paying much more than lip service when he points to the long-term benefits of learning in the hallowed halls of the NFL’s school of hard knocks. However, going through the refiner's fire isn't going to completely erase the hurt of what has been several opportunities squandered and last-second chokes.
Cutting to the core of what has held the Broncos back from finishing off wounded opponents has been the frustrating tendency to crawl inside an offensive shell that has let opponents hunt them down from behind. Lindsay, who has been at the business end of the setbacks, fully understands the issues.
"I think that we come out really strong," Lindsay said. "Somewhere in the third quarter, we fall off. I just think it’s about being consistent, and it’s about, for us, being aggressive. We’ve got to be aggressive. We can’t let our foot off the gas just yet. We’ve been in all the games. We just need to learn how to finish, and that comes over time. You’ve got a bunch of young men that are trying to build a franchise up and that takes time. It really does."
While it provides offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello with a new weapon — Drew Lock — where previously the position was woefully insufficient, it also serves to clean him out of excuses should he not use the talent upgrade at quarterback more ambitiously.
Any move to a more attacking offensive approach designed to get the ball further down the field certainly seems to fit the rookie second-rounder's strengths a whole lot more than the stale second-half showings that have been served up by Scangarello so far. Suffice to say, Lindsay likes what he's seen from Lock thus far, especially in the first half of his Week 13 debut in which the Broncos produced 17 points.
“Drew did a great job of handling his first game," Lindsay said. "He was really smooth, fluent and confident. I think that he’s just going to continue to build off of it... I’m excited to see that and just excited to see his development from Game 1 to the rest of the games coming up.”
Lock’s natural athleticism provides the Broncos offense a key element that was sorely missing and his No. 1 tailback is well aware of the QB's ability.
“When a quarterback is confident, it helps you out because now he’s supposed to be the man of the huddle," Lindsay said. "He has the ball in his hands 24/7. If he has confidence, it gives everybody else that confidence. Drew can move with his arm, he can move with his legs. So that gives all of us confidence because when a play is broken he can create something."
Only four more games remain for the rookie signal-caller to impress his top running back a bit more but it’s clear that the locker room is buying into Lock and reveling in the shot of confidence and hope the young QB is providing to them.