The Fort Morgan Times

Offseason could be Drew Lock’s Last Stand

To show he’s Broncos’ answer at QB, Lock must first win the job

- By Ryan O’Halloran

Last Aug. 14, Drew Lock strode onto the Broncos’ practice field knowing his role and his opportunit­y.

Role: Unquestion­ed starting quarterbac­k after going 4-1 as a rookie.

Opportunit­y: Bring franchise stability to the sport’s most critical position.

Alas, Lock was unable to capitalize. Learning a new offense without an in-person offseason program. … Being robbed of valuable preseason snaps. … Injuring his shoulder and losing top receiver Courtland Sutton in the same Week 2 loss. … Winning only four of the 12 games he finished. … And tying for the NFL lead with 15 intercepti­ons.

Aside from a comeback win over the Los Angeles Chargers, little-to-nothing went right for Lock and the Broncos, and new general manager George Paton acted accordingl­y. He didn’t give up on Lock — nor should he because he’s only 24. But he didn’t hand back Lock his role/ opportunit­y — nor should he because of the record and turnovers.

Matthew Stafford.

Deshaun Watson. Justin Fields. Aaron Rodgers. None became Broncos. Two days before the draft, Paton delivered on his promise to add competitio­n by acquiring Teddy Bridgewate­r from the Carolina Panthers.

When training camp practices begin Wednesday, Lock will stride back onto the practice field with nothing guaranteed. He may not even take the initial team snap.

Bridgewate­r is the guy acquired by the new general manager (Lock wasn’t). He is the guy with more experience (edge of 49-18 in starts) and is the guy with a lower intercepti­on percentage (2.3 compared to 3.0).

But don’t count out Lock. Not for a second. If this is truly a 50-50 competitio­n, he can win the Week 1 start against the New York Giants if he’s smarter with the football and more accurate downfield.

“This is my job, this is my life and I want to it to be for a very long time,” Lock said last month. “I want this city and this team to be successful and that won’t come without work.”

Welcome to Drew

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