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It appears as if former Missouri quarterback Drew Lock has the upper-hand in the Denver Broncos quarterback competition entering his third season in the NFL.
Denver acquired Teddy Bridgewater in an offseason trade to compete with Lock for the starting job after missing out on some big names.
Whether it’s spin on the part of Broncos’ coaches or something else, Lock himself has been the talk of training camp in Denver.
“I’ve seen both guys getting better,” Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur told reporters on Tuesday. “This is the best version of Drew that I’ve seen. I think he’s done a really good job.”
Shurmur added that the coaching staff has helped Lock fine-tune his grasp of the offense and his decision-making as he enters his second season in Shurmur’s system.
But he reiterated that the 2019 second-round draft choice has “just improved,” stirring the pot surrounding the Broncos’ starting quarterback competition, one of the few unsettled situations in the NFL this summer.
Denver Broncos quarterback situation and Drew Lock
Lock, 24, regressed a great deal as a first-time full-time starter last season — completing just over 57% of his passes with 16 touchdowns while tying Carson Wentz for the league lead in interceptions with 15.
As for Bridgewater, he was downright atrocious in his only season with the Carolina Panthers after signing a lucrative contract. The former Pro Bowler threw just 15 touchdowns in as many starts while tossing 11 interceptions. This led to speculation that Denver was odds-on favorites to land Aaron Rodgers in a blockbuster trade before the Green Bay Packers settled that situation.
While Denver’s brass would obviously prefer Drew Lock and his upside to Bridgewater, the team’s offense can cater to both.
“They both can go in and execute what we do,” Shurmur said. “It won’t be obvious to the untrained eye, but there will be a handful of things that Teddy does better than Drew and vice versa. Those are the things we’ll lean on because it always comes down to the plays that you run have to feature and focus on the players that you have, and by working together and practicing, we get a good feel for that.”
Shurmur overlapped with Bridgewater for two seasons with the Vikings while Bridgewater was injured with a torn ACL and dislocated knee. He praised Bridgewater for catching up to Lock’s built-in “advantage, to some degree, as far as knowing how we focus and how we function.”
Denver opens its preseason slate August 14th against Bridgewater’s former Minnesota Vikings team. While he will likely see the field, there’s an expectation that Drew Lock will get the call to start. Whether that is the case Week 1 against the New York Giants depends heavily on how the remainder of training camp and the preseason goes.
(Field Level Media contributed to this report)