ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Neither John Elway nor Vic Fangio have declared Drew Lock the team's long-term answer at quarterback, but that won't change the rookie second-round pick's approach as he heads toward the offseason.
"I'm going to approach it like I'm the guy," Lock said Thursday. "Once I took my first step out on the field as a starter, that was just my mentality. I wasn't going to lose it. I was going to keep it. That's the kind of mindset I had, that's the kind of guy I want to be for this place and that's the kind of guy I think this place deserves."
Lock said he'll spend most of the offseason in Denver and will get together with his receivers for on-field work before the 2020 season.
Before he heads into his first offseason as a pro, though, he has one more opportunity to add to his 2019 resume.
The Broncos host the Raiders on Sunday, and with a win, Lock could become just the third quarterback in Denver's history to win four of his first five starts. Denver would also finish with its best home record since 2016 if the team snags a win Sunday.
"Just to win in general, being able to have a little juice going into the offseason and finish this thing out strong is what we're playing for right now," Lock said. "We've got to finish what we started and just keep plugging. I think having a good sort of aura around our home field, feeling good going into the locker room and just feeling good about that stadium in general is big for us going into next year. I think if we finish out with a win, that would be easy for us to feel good walking in there next year."
And Lock hopes he will be the guy to lead the team forward.
"I think I still have stuff to prove going into this week, but I think I've done a good job up to this point, especially because of the guys around me, the way they're playing and the way everyone's been helping me along the way," Lock said. "My goal was to prove it to them and in the end, that's going to be their ultimate decision at the end of this year. I put my best foot forward, and I feel like it was definitely good enough."
ADVICE FOR BRADLEY
Von Miller has been through the recovery process after ACL surgery, and he's acting as a resource to Bradley Chubb as the second-year player works toward his own return.
"Every great player that has played in the game has suffered some type of season-ending injury," said Miller, who tore his ACL in 2013. "Knowing that as a pro, knowing that all these other people have been able to go through it and they've been able to bounce back and have great careers, we have to do it too. If you look at Adrian Peterson and Tom Brady or DeMarcus Ware, all these guys have had some type of season-ending injury and they were able to come back even stronger. We consider ourselves great players. We have to be able to do that as well. That was my message to Bradley, just keep working. Whenever you have an injury like that, you become more focused on your body and how it can heal faster and what I can do nutritionally to do to make my game better. That's where the focus has got to be. He's already done a great job with that. I can only foresee him doing the same stuff this offseason."
Chubb suffered his injury in a Week 4 loss to the Jaguars.
IT JUST MEANS MORE
As a rookie, wide receiver Courtland Sutton didn't quite understand the importance of division games. He knew they counted for more in the standings, but he still needed to learn the personal element of the contests.
He understands that quite well as he nears the end of his second season.
"Obviously, I knew that the division games were important, but I didn't understand the true hatred that a lot of the Broncos fans have for our divisional rivals until this year," Sutton said. "You all know how I feel about the Chiefs. I really don't like them. The Chargers are the Chargers. We are 0-2 in the last two games versus the Raiders and we need to take care of that. In order for us to claim a place in the AFC side of the bracket, we need to take care of our division. That means that the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders are teams that we must beat on a consistent basis. To be able to go out and split with them this year and ultimately taking care of business next year, hopefully that we do what we're supposed to do, that's what the game plan is. Those divisional games, they are important. We play against them twice and it does bring a little spark. I think not only for myself, but everybody on the team. We all see how important those games are. Like I said, playing against them twice, something might happen in the first game and you remember it and you put a mental note in your head and you say, 'All right, I'll remember this and whenever we get a chance to go them boys next time, I'm going to take care of that, for sure.'"
If Sutton can improve on his Week 1 performance, it would be quite impressive. The second-year player posted a career-best in catches (7) and receiving yards (120) in a Week 1 game against the Raiders.