ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — While the NFL offseason program has been delayed indefinitely, quarterback Drew Lock has stayed ready for an eventual return to the field.
"I mean it's definitely a little different," Lock told DenverBroncos.com's Phil Milani. "Some of it we're all not used to, but with all the guidelines … of [staying] home, the social distancing, it's definitely different. You've got to find ways to adapt your lifestyle, adapt everything you're used to. My dad's restaurants are kind of dealing with it right now a little bit, so it's definitely not been the easiest thing, but we're trying to figure out ways to get around it and make life feel as normal as possible."
Lock, who is currently staying at his parents' house in Kansas City, Missouri, has maintained a schedule that combines working out, throwing the football and studying the team's new offensive system.
"My quarterback guy is here," Lock said. "I can still throw with [him] here and there. My trainer is here. They shut all the gyms down, but we found a ton of different ways to get work in at home with bands and whatnot. Something cool, actually: [Backup quarterback] Jeff [Driskel] sent me some of his workouts, some of his shoulder [and] arm stuff that he uses to stay in shape. ... I'm starting to do a little bit of that.
"You've just got to adapt. You've got to figure out ways to stay in shape. I've got my elevation mask working here, running around the block still. I started training with that probably a month before I ended up getting out to Denver before the year started last year, so just trying to keep in the swing of things, realizing right now it is a little weird but it's definitely going to end, and we'll have to get back to normal life soon. The better you can be prepared for getting back to normal life, I think that's kind of been the mindset I've had."
Lock said he's worked out and thrown five times a week, either at a local spot or in his backyard. He also said he's spent a couple of hours every night reviewing new Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur's system.
"We worked out a little bit this morning, keeping our six feet [of] distancing," Lock said. "And then toward the end of the night, I'll spend a couple hours and look over the playbook [at] stuff that we've been allowed to have on our [tablets]. It's been a little different. I've watched some Giants film, because you look forward to being able to start early, get rolling with the new guys. … We're going to figure it out and we're going to find a way to adapt to this."
Lock, in part, developed his approach after speaking with former Broncos quarterback and five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning.
"Yeah, just stay on your routine as best as possible," said Lock of what he learned from Manning. "Going back to the thing I said earlier where, yes, it's a weird time. We're all in lockdown, but the season is going to happen. We're going to have to get back in the building, we're going to have to be in top shape, we're going to have to know the offense, we're going to have to be able to go out there and spin it right as you get there. So … the biggest thing for me is just trying to stay prepared through all this as best I can just to know it's definitely going to come back and you're going to need to be the guy, be the leader of the team and show that you've been working through this."
During a wide-ranging conversation, Lock also touched on the following topics:
John Elway and the Broncos added major pieces in March as they traded for A.J. Bouye and Jurrell Casey and signed Graham Glasgow, Melvin Gordon and several other players.
Gordon, a two-time Pro Bowler, should be one of Lock's primary weapons in 2020.
"That's going to be a nasty one-two punch with him and Phil [Lindsay]," Lock said. "I think just being able to have guys that can bounce it like Phil can, [and] I know Melvin can do the same. Good hands out of the backfield. I said good — great hands out of the backfield. You watch a lot of clips of him catching the ball out of the backfield, which will be big for us. And then being able to pound it on third-and-short, fourth-and-short. Being able to trust a big, heavy-bodied guy to go get that first down for us. I think he's also going to be a good teammate … just from when I've been talking to him, a couple text messages that we've had. It seems like we're going to have a pretty good relationship."
Lock, who played basketball in high school, said Gordon can help Lindsay in the offense and that even "Michael [Jordan] needed Scottie Pippen."
"We all need a little help here and there," Lock said. "That'll be good for us in the passing game too. You talk about guys double-teaming Courtland, you're going to have to load the box with our running backs that we have this year and try to stop our run game, which will help free up Courtland and other guys on the outside."
On the offensive line, Glasgow should provide a consistent sense of protection. The fifth-year player started 31 of 32 games over the past two seasons and allowed just one sack.
"Respect to [former Broncos center] Connor [McGovern] being my Missouri guy, I was upset to see him leave, and I hope he does well in New York," Lock said. "[But] with Dalton [Risner] and Graham up the middle, I'm going to feel pretty safe with everyone coming up the middle there, without a doubt. I saw a lot of the statistics about Graham and all the snaps he had [without] quarterback pressures and if I'm sitting here in Kansas City and I see that, I'm pretty excited to have him on my team."
In all, Lock seemed impressed with the team's offseason haul.
"It's been awesome," Lock said. "You look at some things you thought you might want to go for as far as position-wise, and I think they're getting the top-notch guys at each of those positions."
ADJUSTING TO PAT SHURMUR'S OFFENSE:
As he's watched Shurmur's New York Giants' offense, Lock has started to get a feel for what the Broncos' attack could look like in 2020.
"Just watching the Giants' stuff, it's going to be an exciting offense to play in," Lock said. "We're going to attack people deep … but we're going to be smart with how we attack them. Coach Shurmur's done an awesome job with developing quarterbacks, same with [Quarterbacks] Coach [Mike] Shula. Again, it's going to be one of those things where you're not going to be able to walk in the room with your head down and not [be] sharp every single day. … There's going to be a lot of expectations to come in and be the leader of this team, perform well, take care of the ball. I saw a lot of good things on film when I was watching their games, and I'm just excited to go out there on the field and kind of start repping those plays."
Shurmur's offenses in New York — and previously in Minnesota — consistently ranked among the league's best in big plays.
While in Miami ahead of Super Bowl LIV, Lock got the chance to speak with Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, whom New York selected after strongly evaluating both of the two players.
"He spoke very highly of both of them," Lock said of Jones' review. "Shula might get on your butt a little bit, but it's all in good nature. He spoke very highly of them and the offense that they ran."
Lock met Shurmur and Shula during that 2019 pre-draft process, and he has seen them briefly since they were hired in Denver.
"I think they're going to be awesome for us, can relate well," Lock said. "Coach Shurmur's kid [Chiefs practice-squad QB Kyle Shurmur], obviously, is my age, and we played against him a couple times. So he understands young guys. He understands our mindset and how we learn and the fastest way for us to play confident and play fast. I'm excited to be able to have him in our room."
HIS SECOND SEASON:
In Year 2, Lock expects to feel far more comfortable. In his five starts, he was able to get "little monkeys" off his back, like starting his first game, winning his first game and winning his first road start.
After going 4-1 as a starter, he saw his share of success and said he now has a solid foundation for a weekly routine. Lock equated this year, in some ways, to entering his sophomore year of college.
"I think any time you get more experience under your belt, you're going to be more confident," Lock said. "I look back on last year and watch those games and saw some bonehead decisions, but also saw some really good things. Obviously you want to try and duplicate the really good things you've seen. I think being able to go back, watch that film, take in what I need to take in from it and be able to go in this year knowing that I can do it [is the biggest takeaway].
"… I think I've crossed out the couple early checkmarks of make your first start, get your first win, win your first road game — to where I can go in and just be ready for a full season, be fully dedicated to winning as [many] games as possible and being the best quarterback of this team and helping us win games and hopefully lead us to a championship."
OFFSEASON THROWING SESSIONS:
As 2019 came to a close, Lock expressed a desire to get his teammates together to throw in the offseason. They planned to do so early this month, but the COVID-19 crisis has seemingly spoiled those plans.
"It was going to end up being the first couple weeks of April, but I don't know if that would be socially responsible for us to do that right now," Lock said. "Depending on how long this goes on, how long they keep us out of the building and whatnot, I'm sure near the end of this we can all get up maybe a couple weeks before we're all supposed to be back. As of right now, there's not an exact plan to get us all on an airplane or drive across the country and meet up with each other."
Lock said he has been in contact with Risner, Sutton, Lindsay, Glasgow, Gordon and DaeSean Hamilton. When he spoke with Gordon, he shared a message about what to expect from fans in Denver.
"You're going to have one heck of a fan base behind you," Lock remembered telling Gordon, "and you're going to love what Broncos Country stands for and how supportive they are at all costs."
Lock also has spoken with Head Coach Vic Fangio a couple of times.
"Me and him had a conversation about the Buffalo nickel on the phone," Lock said. "Talked about his meatballs that were going out all over social media and just how he's doing at home. He showed me his office. I know everyone else got to see his office too, I saw that. Just catching up. It's been cool. Me and Vic's relationship is definitely something that's skyrocketed in the last six months or so just being able to kind of get on the same page with him. He's learning a little bit about me, I'm learning a little bit about him. It's been a positive for sure."
A MESSAGE TO BRONCOS COUNTRY:
As Colorado, the U.S. and the rest of the world fights the novel coronavirus, Lock had a message for those in Broncos Country.
"You've just got to stay strong," Lock said. "Keep your family close. Keep your friends close. I also just want to acknowledge how much all the first responders mean to this country right now … especially mean to me. Our building's got UCHealth all over it. I think it's going to have a different meaning walking into the building after this pandemic. [They're] risking their lives to save others. Everyone looks at us as heroes, but I think they're the real heroes in this time right now. You can't even speak enough for what they've done for us. Again, to Broncos Country, stay strong, stay safe, stay smart. We'll keep fighting this fight together."
Take a look back through Drew Lock's eventful rookie season, from the draft to the season finale.