The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That’s what John Elway and the Broncos have done since winning Super Bowl 50.
Since 2016, Denver has drafted, signed and traded for quarterbacks, looking to find someone that can get the Broncos back to the Super Bowl. But they have missed the playoffs every year during that span. Denver has also hired their fifth offensive coordinator in the last five years.
Drew Lock started the final five games of the 2019 season and has shown some promise that he could be the hero in Denver. But to get there, he’s going to need some help from his coaching staff and front office.
Broncos general manager John Elway and head coach Vic Fangio need to surrender. They need to go all in on their second-year quarterback from Missouri. It’s time for the Broncos to marry their new offensive play caller Pat Shurmur with Lock.
Some of the best quarterbacks in NFL history were paired with their offensive play callers. Just look at Tom Brady-Josh McDaniels, Drew Brees-Sean Payton, Joe Montana-Bill Walsh and John Elway-Mike Shanahan.
There are 13 Super Bowl wins between those four quarterbacks alone.
The Broncos might be sitting at a crossroads because if Shurmur isn’t sold on Lock, Denver can easily decide to move on from the gunslinger and target another quarterback in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. It’s not a crazy idea because the Broncos wasted an entire year with Lock by not sticking with Rich Scangarello to help the development of No. 3.
Don’t forget that Lock was Denver’s third draft pick in last year’s draft, behind Noah Fant and Dalton Risner. The organization was split 50/50 on if they wanted to start him towards the end of the season.
It’s time for the Broncos to give Lock the tools he needs to succeed on offense and they need do it the right way. Denver has many holes to fill on an offense that only averaged 21.4 points per game under Lock in the final five games of the season.
The Broncos already have their No. 1 wide receiver and tight end. But they need to look for additional pass catchers and they can focus on doing that in free agency. It’s been mentioned that this is the greatest wide receiver draft class in NFL history, but Denver can find a receiver in the middle of the rounds with this class being so deep.
The best way to help a quarterback is to build him an offensive line. Denver has already solidified the left guard position with Risner and are stuck with their right tackle Ja’Wuan James after making him the highest paid right tackle at the time.
The Broncos must target a left tackle in the first round of the NFL Draft to replace Garett Bolles due to his struggles on the field. Bolles has continued to lead the league in holding penalties year after year. It’s time to solidify that spot for the next 10 years.
John Elway will need to find the best options to fill the positions of center and right guard. That can come through free agency or the draft, depending who the front office likes the most.
Shurmur’s offense lined up in the shotgun more than 70 percent of time last season and had three wide receiver formations at the same clip. This shows that Denver’s offensive line will have to pass protect without having extra help on each side of the line. Elway will need to find and put together the five best offensive lineman that can play together for the next number of years.
Another way to help Lock is give him an elite running game. Elway should know about this pretty well since Terrell Davis helped him win back to back Super Bowls. Phillip Lindsay is a solid back, but not an every-down back and Royce Freeman disappeared in 2019.
Shurmur’s offense has a lot of success in the screen game and can succeed again with Lindsay. But Denver will also need an every-down power back that can carry the ball 25 times per game if needed.
Drew Lock has proven that he deserves to start every game of the 2020 season for the Broncos. Now, the organization needs to go all in with him. It’s time for the Broncos to admit that they’re in love with him and give him a rose just like “The Bachelor.”
- Mile High Monday: Early rumblings from the Scouting Combine
- 2020 NFL Scouting Combine Preview: Offensive Linemen
- Polumbus: New Buffs HC Karl Dorrell 'checks a lot of boxes'
- History suggest that the Broncos won't re-sign Shelby Harris
- The Extra Mile: Adding more playoff teams is NFL 'embracing mediocrity'