Drew Lock has certainly disappointed so far, but two major reasons for his struggles are that he hasn’t had much scheme consistency in his career, and that COVID made it even more difficult to learn Pat Shurmur’s complex scheme.

This time around though, the Broncos opted to keep the offense in tact, which already appears to be benefitting Lock.

“[Shurmur]’s been extremely cooperative with what I say I like or what I say I don’t like,” Lock said on Tuesday. “He’s meshed, and we’ve meshed really, really well this offseason and added a couple new things he think might fit the style of game that we play. It’s just been a really fun offseason to finally be able to finetune things, get the things we like, maybe talk about some things we’re half-and-half on, and maybe throw that in a couple of the practices, get a couple extra reps on those where we feel really confident going into the year. Yes, to answer your question in a whole is yes, it feels very good to finally be in the same offense for a second time.”

One would think it must feel good considering there’s only been one time in the past six off-seasons that Lock didn’t have to learn a new system.

Another thing that should help guide lock to an improved 2021 is the fact that he now has an extra year of chemistry with his young receiving core.

“I think the chemistry with the receivers is definitely taking strides forward,” Lock said. “It’s the same thing with them. Their first couple weeks of running these plays, you know, you’re counting steps, trying to feel everything out and they’ve ran these plays multiple times now. They’ve gotten a little time under their belt where they’re kind of operation off field, they’re operating off the football player that they were born to be, and that’s when the game gets fun. That’s when guys’ instincts can take over and that’s when you’re not thinking as much. Everyone knows that saying, ‘You’re not thinking, you’re just playing.’ That’s when everything goes smooth, and that’s when guys really start showing who they can be as a player. I think that’s where you see Jerry [Jeudy] making big strides right now.”

Lock also took time to heap praise onto Tyrie Cleveland and Noah Fant.

“[Tyrie Cleveland’s] just a dominant guy out there,” Lock told reporters. “You always like throwing the ball to guys when it leaves your hand and you’re really confident they’re going to go up and get it, regardless of the situation they’re in. That’s kind of the guy that Tyrie’s becoming. We’re getting comfortable with him having the ball in his hand, like you said running the reverse—he’s just a playmaker. I think we’re finally starting to see a little bit more of that as he gets opportunities to make those plays.”

Cleveland is a “dominant guy” but Fant is currently separating from the pack by looking like X-Men’s Collusus despite not wearing shoulder pads with how chiseled he looks.

“Not only this season, but I think every season, my expectations are high on Noah [Fant], and he knows that,” Lock said of his supremely-gifted tight end. “One of the big things that, again, not a lot of people have known or talked about is [that] me and Noah got a lot of work in this offseason. He was in Colorado for a decent amount of time, and every time we were throwing, he was right there. We found things we thought he needed to work on, and he even came with things to me that he wanted to work on with me. So there’s been a lot of work that me and him have been able to put in this offseason. Regardless of the year for him, just me knowing the type of player he is and the type of work he’s put in, that my expectations are going to be high and he kind of welcomes that.”

One thing is for certain; the potential on this Broncos offense is through the roof. They just have to realize it.