Vic Fangio pumps the brakes on Drew Lock being NFL ready

Drew Lock throws in Denver's second practice of the 2019 training camp. Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports.
Drew Lock throws in Denver's second practice of the 2019 training camp. Credit: Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports.

For those Broncos fans wishing to see rookie Drew Lock suit up behind center this year, put a pin in it.

Lock may be an interesting athlete and he’s been showing flashes of brilliance in the first two practices in Dove Valley, but those mere flashes aren’t going to win games. For him to be successful in the Mile High City, Lock will have to learn what it means to be an NFL quarterback.

“His college offense really had no carry over to pro offenses and he was under duress a lot of times at his college, so a lot of his plays he was running around,” head coach Vic Fangio said of Lock on Friday. “I don’t think he’s far along being a ready NFL quarterback as he could have been. That’s what I mean when he’s got to get ready.”

Lock is great at improvising, and considering how poorly the Broncos offensive line has blocked for recent quarterbacks, that could help him. However, many NFL offenses are predicated on exact timing, great footwork and throwing mechanics; simply, Lock has a lot to improve upon.

“He’s not a quarterback yet,” Fangio continued on the rookie. “He’s a hard throwing pitcher that doesn’t know how to pitch yet, so the faster he gets that the better off he’ll be and we’ll be.”

It sounds like the new head coach in town is saying his rookie quarterback has to get to work.

Lock did just that on Thursday, making sure to get a deal done with Denver and get out on the practice field for the first practice of the year. He wanted to make sure he wasn’t holding out, likely gaining respect from his teammates along the way.

It was not only a positive sign, but a positive for Lock and the Broncos as he sounds like he needs as much time as possible learning in live drills. We knew going into the draft that his footwork needed improvement, and while he has a live arm, his touch throws as well as decision making need to be better, too.

Benjamin Allbright noted there have been a few flashes but also some “what the hell?” moments from the youngster so far.

Yes, the most popular player in any NFL city is the backup quarterback, but even if Joe Flacco struggles this year, don’t expect Lock to be thrown into the fire. Unless, of course, he has to be due to an injury to the starter or the Broncos have already been counted out of the playoffs for a fourth straight season.

2020? That could be the season of Drew Lock, or Denver could continue to kick the tires on Flacco for another year.

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