Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has liked what he’s seen so far from both Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock. But it was his praise for Lock in particular that may turn heads after a bumpy start to the quarterback’s pro career.
“I’ve seen both guys getting better,” Shurmur said Tuesday at Denver’s training camp. “This is the best version of Drew that I’ve seen. I think he’s done a really good job.”
Shurmur added that the coaching staff has helped Lock fine-tune his grasp of the offense and his decision-making as he enters his second season in Shurmur’s system.
But he reiterated that the 2019 second-round draft choice has “just improved,” stirring the pot surrounding the Broncos’ starting quarterback competition, one of the few unsettled situations in the NFL this summer.
Denver acquired Bridgewater in an offseason trade with the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick. Bridgewater, who is still only 28, is in line to make his fourth team since the Minnesota Vikings drafted him in the first round in 2014.
Shurmur said that Lock and Bridgewater do not require vastly different philosophies in order to succeed.
“No, I think the way we function offensively and I think the new age offenses, they both can go in and execute what we do,” Shurmur said. “It won’t be obvious to the untrained eye, but there will be a handful of things that Teddy does better than Drew and vice versa. Those are the things we’ll lean on because it always comes down to the plays that you run have to feature and focus on the players that you have, and by working together and practicing, we get a good feel for that.”
Shurmur overlapped with Bridgewater for two seasons with the Vikings while Bridgewater was injured with a torn ACL and dislocated knee. He praised Bridgewater for catching up to Lock’s built-in “advantage, to some degree, as far as knowing how we focus and how we function.”
Bridgewater passed for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games for the Panthers last season. He has started 49 games in his NFL career.
In 18 starts over two seasons, Lock has thrown for 3,953 yards, 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions with a 59.1 percent completion rate. He missed time in 2020 due to both a shoulder injury and COVID-19 protocols, and the Broncos only won four of his 13 starts.