This week, the Broncos decided that quarterback Drew Lock will not be on the practice field. Although eligible and healthy, the rookie will remain on the sidelines for the time being.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Vic Fangio fumbled around his explanation as to why Lock won’t be practicing. While trying to explain this decision to not practice Lock, Denver’s head coach literally said “he needs practice.”
Got it, Lock can’t practice because he needs practice.
This is a joke.
There is no plan and there never was a plan. There hasn’t been a plan since Peyton Manning left in 2016.
If you want to know what a plan at quarterback looks like, look at the Broncos opponent last Sunday, the Colts.
In 2017, Indianapolis was expecting Andrew Luck to be their starter. Luck ended up missing the entire season due to injury. The Colts had Scott Tolzien as the new starter. Given the unforeseen circumstances, the Colts made a trade with the Patriots for second-year quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
Brissett would start 15 games for the Colts in 2017 and post a 4-11 record with a decent 13-7 touchdown to interception ratio. Indianapolis learned that when you have an injury prone quarterback like Luck, it’s best to have a solid plan at backup.
After the third game of the 2019 preseason, Luck shocked everybody by announcing his retirement. When healthy, there were very few, if any, better than Luck. This was considered a major blow to the team’s hopes for 2019.
Not only have the Colts survived the loss of Luck, they have posted an impressive 5-2 record and currently sit atop the AFC South.
The 2017 season seemed like a waste for the Colts. It wasn’t.
The decision to trade for Brissett and then play him, win or lose, has paid off. Nobody in Indianapolis is angry or cares that the team was 4-12 in 2017 because they are 5-2 in 2019.
The Colts could have traded Brissett prior to 2018 or 2019 seasons. Many thought they should. Instead, they kept Brissett because he was part of a bigger vision.
Luck’s sudden retirement seemed to send shockwaves everywhere except Indianapolis. They didn’t flinch. They didn’t blink. They had a plan in place with a guy they trusted in Brissett.
With Luck’s retirement and the promotion of Brissett to starter, the Colts signed Brian Hoyer. Now the team has a trusted veteran backing up Brissett. Once again, the Colts are ready.
Take a look at the Broncos current situation. In fact, go back to 2016. Have you seen anything close to this type of strategic decision making from the Broncos?
Training camp battles and veteran quarterbacks on two-year deals are not plans. Those are situations where the Broncos are hoping somebody will make the plan for them.
Watching the odd decisions and explanations from the Broncos in regards to Lock has led me to believe they have absolutely zero confidence to make the correct decision when it comes to the quarterback position. The Broncos appear to be shook from Paxton Lynch and all of the other recent quarterback failures and they are horrified it’s going to happen again.
This is causing hesitation and paralysis by analysis. The fear of another quarterback failure has the team overthinking everything. The Flacco experiment looks like it was DOA and the team may not be ready to handle more scrutiny if Lock isn’t the guy.
The organization seems to be waiting for the absolute right moment to start Lock, as if they want Lock’s first game to be a perfect situation. Well, it won’t be perfect. It’s going to be tough.
Put together a game plan to make Lock look comfortable and run with it. Don’t just sit around waiting for the stars to align.
Earlier this week, 1043TheFan.com’s James Merilatt called this whole situation baffling. He’s absolutely correct. That’s why I think the Broncos are trying to protect their already severely damaged public perception. As long as Lock doesn’t play, he can’t fail. It’s the only reason I can connect to this otherwise silly decision to not practice Lock.
Brissett was thrust into the fire in 2017 when Luck was injured. It was even tougher for Brissett because he was traded to the Colts. He didn’t have training camp to build rapport with his new teammates. Brissett survived and now he’s leading his team. In 2019, Brissett was the Colts plan B, but he was still a plan.
I’m not saying the Broncos should try to recreate what the Colts have done. Simply put, the Colts are not going to get caught unprepared at the quarterback position.
What was the Broncos plan if Flacco got injured? What was the Broncos plan for Lock once he returned from injury? The Broncos are still figuring out these situations.
What value are the Broncos hoping to take away from 2019 from here on out? I don’t think they know.
I’d be fine with Lock going 0-7 in 2019 if that means he’s 5-2 in 2020. The Broncos, however, want to do everything they can to go 8-8 with whoever.
After signing Peyton Manning in 2012, John Elway famously said there is no plan B. Well, having no plan B (or any plan at all) has led to three-straight frustrating seasons for the Broncos. Meanwhile, the Colts look like they are on their way to the playoffs.
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