If the Broncos don’t want to ruin Drew Lock, team needs to show young QB tough love and bench him. – The Denver Post
LAS VEGAS — If the Broncos love quarterback Drew Lock, they will bench him.
“We’re committed to Drew, and the more he can play, the better he’ll be,” Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Sunday, after Lock crapped out yet kept doubling down on bad bets during a humiliating 37-12 loss to the hated Raiders.
“He’s got to fight through this, like most young quarterbacks do at some point in their career. And we’re going to continue to play him.”
Sorry, Uncle Vic. I beg to differ.
Committed? That’s what you do with somebody that keeps repeating the same madness.
I’ve seen enough of the mistakes of reckless hubris committed by Lock. The starting quarterback suffers from brain freeze so often he is rapidly earning a nickname: “Vapor” Lock.
Do the Broncos want to ruin Lock and repeat the same failed process that gave us Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemien and Paxton Lynch? Then by all means let this quarterback keep banging his stubborn head against a wall while trying to squeeze the ball in windows that turn out to be black holes.
Hate to break this to you, Uncle Vic. But history is on my side.
Way back in 1983, when John Elway looked more like a confused rookie than a future Hall of Famer, coach Dan Reeves benched the team’s prized QB after Elway lost three straight games in October.
So what makes Lock special? On a team that has let the stench of a losing culture seep into the walls of Dove Valley headquarters and is 3-6 for the fourth straight season, who holds this cocksure young quarterback from Missouri accountable for his errors?
Are there no consequences? And do the Broncos care if they run his confidence into the ground?
Please, don’t give me the yadda, yadda, yadda about how Lock has only made 12 starts as a pro and should be treated with kid gloves. This young man is a slow learner because he lets his arm do the thinking.
The Raiders absolutely begged Denver to beat them. With Las Vegas playing the uninspired football of mediocrity, the Broncos marched down the field during the final seconds of the first half, trailing only 10-6 despite special teams blunders that have become the trademark of assistant coach Tom McMahon.
Lock believed he had given the Broncos the lead on a five-yard run to the end zone for a touchdown that was nullified by a stupid holding call against Noah Fant.
What a mature QB with a good head on his shoulders would’ve done is reset emotionally and taken a field goal into the locker room at halftime. What Lock did was sling the football into the end zone, where it was intercepted by Las Vegas safety Jeff Heath.
“Three or four plays can mess up a whole football game,” Broncos guard Dalton Risner said. “You guys know that.”
Well, I know this: On this sad November afternoon, Lock was picked off four times. He’s not maturing. He’s regressing.
While the schemes of offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur seem to be an uncomfortable fit, giving Lock more excuses for failure doesn’t change the grim reality. These consistently poor performances would cost any other player on this Denver roster his starting job.
Right here, right now, Lock is the worst starting QB in the league. His 55 completion percentage ranks dead last in the NFL He’s committing interceptions on 4.2% of his passing attempts, which is nothing short of abominable.
OK, the fact Denver has eliminated itself from serious playoff contention is not all Lock’s fault. After the Denver defense was caught with 10 players on the field during a TD run by Josh Jacobs in the third quarter and had to call timeout on a Vegas trip to the red zone shortly thereafter because the Broncos broke the huddle with 12 men, Fangio should thank his lucky stars that he avoided riding back to Denver on the plane next to Elway, who stayed home after a stint with coronavirus.
“All our fingerprints are on that game — coaches and players — and nobody is happy about it, obviously,” Fangio said. “In fact, everybody is probably very disappointed and disgusted.”
Since Pat Bowlen, the franchise owner that refused to settle for anything less than the best, passed away in 2019, the Broncos have made a mess of the scoreboard without any sense of accountability.
Lock should be benched, because that’s what his poor play merits.
“This organization doesn’t pay me (and) this fan base doesn’t cheer us on for me to quit on anything,” said Lock, who finished the game with a miserable 37.3 QB rating “They’ll have to carry me off the field for me to come off.”
Hey, we all admire the young QB’s spunk.
But benching him isn’t punishment. It’s an act of tough love.
Give Lock a chance to clear his head, stand back and get a new perspective on what it takes to play winning football.
Hey, Uncle Vic. Please do the right thing.
No responsible coach would just stand back and watch Lock drive his NFL career into the ditch.