Broncos turning to Manning, Shula to develop Drew Lock

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) attempts a pass during the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.
Dec 8, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) attempts a pass during the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in what feels like a century, we don’t have to spend the entire Broncos offseason toiling over who will be lining up under center in 2020 thanks to the emergence of Drew Lock.

While Lock flashed a lot of promise and potential in his five-game audition, he still has plenty of developing left to do. Fortunately for Broncos fans, he’ll be turning to one of the best to ever do it in Peyton Manning.

During an interview with 104.3 The Fan’s Brandon Stokley — a former teammate of Manning’s — and Zach Bye, the Super Bowl 50 champion said, “Drew [Lock] and I have talked. He was kind of asking for my thoughts on the offseason, kind of how I went about my offseason training and when do you start throwing and weight-lifting and all that, and so I sort put my thoughts together.”

However, Lock’s wisdom teeth got in the way.

“We were kind of set to talk this week but he had his wisdom teeth taken out, so it kind of delayed that, so I don’t know if that’s breaking news that he had his wisdom teeth taken out, but there you have it,” Manning said. “I think hopefully by today he’ll be recovered and we can have that conversation.”

The training Lock receives from Manning shouldn’t be too foreign to him though, as Lock served as a counselor at the Manning family’s famous annual passing academy before his senior season at Missouri.

Manning touched on that history and the brotherhood he has with some of the former attendees like Lock, “Whether they go play for other teams or go into business, there’s sort of a fraternity there. So I’ve enjoyed keeping up with Drew since he’s been here and try to be there as a resource. Certainly, he’s got great coaches and people in his ear over there at the Broncos but I try to be there like I would for any quarterback that has a question. If I can help him, I’m certainly happy to try.”

The Broncos haven’t stopped there though, as they’re also in talks with former Panthers’ offensive coordinator Mike Shula to take over their quarterback coach vacancy. Shula’s best work on the football field came when he helped Cam Newton claim the title of MVP on his way to a Super Bowl 50 defeat, though he most recently called plays for the Giants where he helped develop Daniel Jones.

Denver pushing all their chips to the center of the table in regards to Lock’s development is a wise move. Having a quarterback on a rookie deal is a tremendous competitive advantage the Broncos need to take advantage of, and the sooner Lock realizes his full potential, the sooner the Broncos can capitalize on that advantage like the Rams, Eagles and Chiefs have done in recent years.

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