ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos trailed just 10-6 on Sunday when rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy came in motion across the field and took off down the field.
Jeudy sold an out-breaking route as Lock executed a play-action fake, and the Alabama product then sprinted deep down the middle of the field as Lock looked his way.
The 15th-overall pick in April's draft, though, slowed up as he crossed midfield, and Lock's rainbow pass was closer to two Chiefs defenders than to the rookie wideout.
Lock admitted Wednesday that there was a "little miscommunication" between the two on the play, but the pair of young players have worked to address those issues.
"Me and him talked about it in practice — and we also talked after the game — that there will be no excuses for us two in practice if we don't complete a pass to each other," Lock said. "If we do [have an incomplete] pass, we're going to run [it] two times after practice. We [didn't complete] a … pass today, and I think he wanted to run it five more times after practice."
Jeudy made a consistent impact early in the season, as he totaled more than 50 receiving yards in each of his first four games. The last two weeks, however, Jeudy has caught just four passes for a combined 52 yards.
As he looks to make more of an impact — he ranks sixth among rookies in receiving yards and 10th in receptions — Lock has seen the young receiver approach the week of practice with a renewed intensity.
"I've seen a big flip of a switch from him — talking in the huddle, being vocal," Lock said. "He told the huddle to tighten up today. … As a wide receiver and a rookie, it's not necessarily his responsibility to make the huddle is tight, it's definitely mine and the O-line, but he went in there and got vocal. I thought that was awesome. We talked about it after the game, that I look back on my last games as a rookie, and I hated the fact that I wasn't as vocal as I could have been and used the rookie [card] and let the vets talk as an excuse.
"I told him, 'I don't want you to feel that, especially right now as we're kind of in a hole. Guys will look to you, guys will look to me regardless of how old are we, and we have to keep that vocal point going.'"
Head Coach Vic Fangio reserved his judgment forWednesday's practice, saying Jeudy "had a good day" at practice.
"It's all part of the process of learning how to play in the NFL," Fangio said. "You're at the highest level."
Jeudy ranks third on the team in receptions, first in targets and second in receiving yards, so his impact has been anything but minimal.
With an increased focus, though, the young player could soon post his first true breakout game.
Melvin Gordon III spoke to the media for the first time since his arrest ahead of Week 6, and he asked reporters to share a message with Broncos fans.
"I'm sorry I was even in the situation," Gordon said. "I don't want people to feel like, 'Oh, because Melvin didn't say anything, or he didn't speak on it, he just doesn't care and he's not apologetic about the situation.' That's not the case at all. I try to do my best to walk a straight line and lead by example with things like that. I'm a little upset that I even put myself in the situation for it to be brought to others, including my family who was reaching out. I had a hard time dealing with it myself. Like I said, I hadn't been in trouble before, so it was tough. To the people of Denver and everyone, I don't want anyone to feel like I don't care and say, 'Oh, he got his money, he doesn't care.' I do. I'm not happy I was in the situation. This is something I wanted to let you know that you can put out to the people for me."
Gordon said he remains focused on the team's upcoming slate rather than any impending discipline from the NFL.
"I'm not really worried about all that to be honest," Gordon said. "You deal with that when you have to deal with it. I'm just focused on the Chargers and getting my mind ready and prepared to come and win this game."
Gordon also addressed his fumble against the Chiefs, as well as a botched flea-flicker. He stressed that there are times when he needs to simply go down, rather than fight for more yards.
"As far as the flea-flicker, how many times in a year do you run that play?" Gordon said. "It was unfortunate and I put too much on it. We were kind of heating up, and to make that play, I was upset with myself. With the fumble, you don't go out there and try to fumble. The guy who fumbles feels the worst in the whole stadium and in the whole world at that point in time. That's what happens when you try to go out there and make a play. I'm trying to make a play in a sense. I'm trying to help this team win, and I'll do whatever it takes. I'm a competitor. Sometimes, when you have three [or] four guys on you, you have to be smart and go down. You can't take on the whole team. I have to be aware of that, and I will. I don't feel like it's an issue with me. I get too caught up sometimes in trying to make the play to get us in a position to be successful, and you kind of lose focus on that. I just have to be aware of both."
After the Broncos gave up a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, Fangio was asked about his confidence in Special Teams Coordinator Tom McMahon's ability to help the unit improve.
"I have great confidence in Tom," Fangio said. "Tom's an experienced coach, and he's done a good job in this league for a long time. We've had our struggles here as of late, but I'm confident Tom will lead the way and pull us out of them. He and I talk all the time — some of it we talk schemes, some of it personnel. We're trying to get some players in there to possibly help on the coverage units. We do talk about it a lot."
Linebacker Austin Calitro was designated to return on Wednesday, which begins a 21-day window in which Denver can active him to its 53-man roster. When Calitro returns, he could be a helpful addition to the team's coverage units.
After nose tackle Mike Purcell was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday with a season-ending foot injury, Fangio said the Broncos will have to try to replace the talented run-stopper by committee.
"Sly [Sylvester Williams] is a guy who can go in there and play that position," Fangio said. "Mike's been a big part of our defense here since we inserted him in the starting lineup last year and we're going to miss him. He's a very good run player for us and he kind of quarterbacks the D-line a little bit on the field. We'll miss him, but we have Sly available, Shelby [Harris] can play nose, D-Walk [DeMarcus Walker] can play nose. We've trained them all to be able to play all of the spots there and we're going to have to do it by committee."