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Areas Drew Lock needs to address for improvement this off-season.

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  • Areas Drew Lock needs to address for improvement this off-season.

    By now, every team in the NFL has 20 full quarters of game footage on our young QB. They will have the entire off-season to analyze his tendencies and develop defensive plays to better stymie him. If Lock wishes to stay ahead of the curve and avoid a Baker Mayfield styled sophomore season he's going to need to put in some serious work this off-season. These are (in my opinion) the four most pressing areas for improvement.

    1. Footwork. Its almost a cliche at this point to note that a young QB needs to clean up their footwork, but there is a reason for this. Drew Brees is undersized for the position and has below average arm strength. But he is going to retire with a handful of All time records because (among other reasons) he has the best footwork of any QB to play for the last two decades. Good footwork leads to better mechanics leads to better accuracy on intermediate and deep passes. We can all appreciate a QB able to make plays off platform. But I appreciate even more a QB that can very quickly set their feet, align their mechanics, and fire an accurate strike downfield. Drew's footwork looked so much better this December than what we saw from him in the Pre-season. But he still has a tendency to drift in the pocket, and occasionally fire the ball from odd angles when he had time to set his feet. During training camp 2020 I want to see a leap forward in his footwork comparable to what we saw this year. If he can accomplish that, we are going to see improvements in his accuracy and consistency.

    2. Anticipation. Part of this will come as he develops chemistry with his primary receivers. He's had a lot of throws that, while they were on target, were just a touch late, forcing the receiver to reach back for the pass. You lose out on so much YAC when you aren't properly leading the receiver. Beyond the loss YAC, there were passes that he missed out on because he's not getting rid of the ball before the reciever's break. This is tough for a young QB to develop and I suspect that off-season sessions with his receiving corps will help him iron some of it out. But he will need to put in the work to completely internalize the Broncos Playbook so he knows on any given play where his guys should be and he can pull the trigger that split-second sooner.

    3. Pocket Presense. Almost feels like I'm nitpicking on this one because his ability to sense pressure is already light-years beyond our last 4 QBs. He's also not looking to run when he scrambles as he is keeping his eyes downfield. But, as good as he already is, there is still room for improvement. He will drift in the pocket sometimes and move himself into tighter quarters. He needs to develop a better sense of where his soft spots in the pocket are. The Broncos can help him a bunch here by using the draft and free agency to upgrade the line. But he's going to need to work on developing that instinct to stand tall in the pocket, maintain his footwork, minimize drift, and find the soft spots instead of bailing.

    4. Eye Manipulation. Lock is the prototypical size for a QB. But, with that advantage comes a challenge. DBs in zone coverage and roaming Safeties can read his eyes. He is not going to get away with staring down receivers against better defenders. He needs to improve his ability to hold the safety with his eyes on deep routes. I remember John Elway having one of the better off-set looks in the league during his playing days. Really hope he gives Lock some pointers on that, because it is such a useful tool for a QB to have on their belt.
    Last edited by v2micca; 12-30-2019, 08:50 AM.

  • #2
    morte songs, more dance moves and more hip lyrics .

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    • #3
      I agree with all of that v2micca.

      Spending time with his receivers this offseason and helping everyone get on the same page and timing will be huge. We already know he has the arm talent and work ethic to be a great QB, and has already made improvements. I'm excited to see what he does next season.

      Getting the young offense another offseason to build on what they already have learned in this complex offense will be really important in taking a big step forward next year as well.

      Good thread!

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      • #4
        Great post v2micca. Watch Barkley taking over for Allen in Buffalo yesterday and you’ll really appreciate Locks pocket presence. You can’t teach someone to sense pressure.

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        • #5
          This play was Russell Wilson like. Maybe even Patty Mahoomes rolling right with defenders and finding the open guy.

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          • #6
            I mean, he’s only played five games as a rookie. You could just say he needs to work on and improve in every area of quarterbacking. He’s not doing anything at what could be called a finished or polished level right now. I’d say he’s kind of in Cutler territory presently, but with better ball security. Quite good for a rookie, but a lot of growth is needed for him to truly answer our QB prayers.

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            • #7
              I have no doubt the kid will devote himself to making improvements in all phases of his game.
              Having JFE and PFM on hand to help him with both his dance moves and vocal skills will enhance the kid's repertoire.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CEH View Post
                This play was Russell Wilson like. Maybe even Patty Mahoomes rolling right with defenders and finding the open guy.

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                But, but, but he’s rapping on the sideline, sitting on the bench after scoring a TD!!!!!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CHEF LUIGI View Post
                  I have no doubt the kid will devote himself to making improvements in all phases of his game.
                  Having JFE and PFM on hand to help him with both his dance moves and vocal skills will enhance the kid's repertoire.
                  ^^^^^

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                  • #10
                    One thing that's great about Lock is the guy always gets better. I felt like he even improved in between preseason games. Everything about his play is still really raw, but we've gotten a clean look at what he can do with all of his talent. I truly feel like we'll all be quite impressed with what he brings on to the field next season. He'll look a lot better if he keeps his head focused and builds better chemistry with his receivers. From everything we've seen from him, he's done nothing to show he's incapable of taking the next couple steps.

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                    • #11
                      He is really raw in some ways, but he way way outperformed any expectations that I had.

                      I'm not fitting him for his gold jacket, but he has shown enough for real excitement. That is not something I have felt about the position since PFM.

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                      • #12
                        It’s a bit premature to judge Lock on such a small sample.
                        He has room for improvement. That’s very obvious. I don’t think he can be thought of in the right mind as a finished product by any means.
                        I’ve seen talent and lots of upside, that the only thing that it’s going to make him better is practice, practice, and more practice, followed by live game action.
                        He’s staying to work out here in Denver during the offseason. You’ve gotta love that, he wants to work in the areas he wants to get better at and with his receivers.
                        By training camp he should be ready to cement his position as the starter quarterback for the Denver Broncos.

                        For the little things I’ve seen of him, one thing is clear to me...he wants to be great!

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                        • #13
                          I’m hoping for more (he’s shown glimpses of more) but he at least proved he can be a game manager which is better than any QB we’ve had since Manning. With a good defense he can win a lot of games (he won 80% of his games this year). He seems willing to put in the work to get better and he’s having fun. A lot of reason to be optimistic about him next year.

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                          • #14
                            He needs to work on making murder look like a suicide and take Scangarello out

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                            • #15
                              I'm encouraged by his growth from PS to his regular season games. In the PS he often looked lost. I like the way he handled himself in his regular season games. Longevity will be a result of consistency (like any QB), but he's already shown he's capable of making every throw. That 15 yard out from the opposite hash was beautiful.

                              I'm excited to see his progress after a full offseason, a more competent offensive line, and hopefully a new weapon with some deep speed. (I really would be curious to see Henry Ruggs here)

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