Football is in the air, folks. The first-year players completed rookie mini camp over the weekend and now they’ll join the veterans in OTAs this week.
On Sunday, Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, told reporters that the rookies had a solid first three days of practice.
“We got a lot of great work in,” Fangio said. “We got three practices in there. Everybody got a lot of reps, got a lot of meeting time and walkthrough. We accomplished a lot. Those guys are much more prepared now to take part in OTAs.”
Monday is when the real action began, though. Both the veterans and rookies took the field together for the first time, including the team’s new quarterbacks – 34-year-old Joe Flacco and 22-year-old Drew Lock.
As the coaches have consistently stated, Flacco took reps with the starting unit and the other young quarterbacks competed with the twos and threes.
“It was good, it’s always fun,” Flacco said.
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Flacco explained that he’s still getting to know this new offense, so he hopes to gain a sense of familiarity as the team approaches training camp. He knows that there will be some growing pains as the offense continues to implement more into the schemes, but feels this time will be big for the group’s overall confidence.
“It’s to get that confidence as a group – to become a team. So, when we get into the tough of a battle, we can look to the guy next to us and know that he has our back,” Flacco said.
While the veteran QB is excited to be working with his new teammates, including the rookies like Lock, he made it very clear that he isn’t here to help the young guys progress.
“That’s not my job,” Flacco said. “My job is to go out there and win football games.”
Flacco explained that he hopes Lock develops into a solid quarterback, but serving as a mentor isn’t what he was brought to Denver for. In Flacco’s eyes, the best thing that he can do for the young quarterback is go about his business and execute on the field. Then off the field, Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello can really work with Lock and help him get where needs to be.
“Rich does such a good job in those meeting rooms,” Flacco said. “Drew is going to learn from listening to him talk, and then us getting the reps on the field and seeing how we do things as quarterbacks.”
It will be interesting to see how the dynamic between these two quarterbacks progresses throughout the season. Flacco obviously has experience working with a young QB. However, as we saw with Brett Favre in Green Bay, it’s not always easy for experienced quarterbacks to deal with a young guy nipping at his heels.
“No two situations are alike,” Fangio said. “… I don’t think any one model is applicable. Every situation is a little different. All history tells you with certainty is what’s happened in the past is not what’s going to happen in the future. We’ll see.”