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Mile High Morning: Dan Orlovsky analyzes pros, cons of Drew Lock's recent performance

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The Lead

As the Broncos hope to see a bounce-back performance from Drew Lock after Sunday's loss to Kansas City, ESPN NFL analyst and former 12-year veteran quarterback Dan Orlovsky took to Twitter on Thursday to share his observations on the young quarterback.

"You can still see the athletic arm talent that is there," Orlovsky said, highlighting Lock's strengths. "We call those, sometimes, the 'funny body throws,' when the pocket is shrinking in on him and his feet can't be perfect, he can still make some of those really challenging throws because of that athletic arm. 

"They've put him on the move a little bit, and he's doing a really good job of throwing on the move, both with his decision-making but then also making some really good throws on the move."

Orlovsky also noted that Lock is attacking defenses decisively.

"This is something that he showed last year, as well, [which] would be [that] he's aggressive with the football," Orlovsky said. "You could see that when he's got confidence in where he's going with the football, he's really aggressive with his throws. Those are the things that stand out on tape that are going well."

But, of course, Lock has also had some struggles recently. In Orlovsky's view, the toughest parts for Lock seem to be facing pressure and staying disciplined with his footwork and not being unnecessarily risky.

"Number one, you have to have a plan vs. pressure," Orlovsky said. "When you go to the line of scrimmage in the NFL, you have to have a plan. What's my protection? Who's the guy who could make me hot or multiple guys who could make me hot? And then where's my answer? He goes to the line of scrimmage sometimes and he gets surprised by pressure. And then when he gets surprised by pressure, it leads to poor decision-making and panic. And that's what leads to turnovers at times or balls that should be picked off. He's got to have a better plan. Playing against pressure has to be proactive, not reactive. You've got to go with a very clear understanding of who's the problem and what to do with the football. So be more proactive with your blitz plan. 

"Number two, his feet. His feet, sometimes, are all over the place. And just because you can make the athletic throws doesn't mean you should or have to every single play. So they've got to get him more discipline with his feet. And then number three, stop unnecessarily putting the ball in harm's way. There are situations where you've got to put the ball in harm's way, situational football depending on where you sit in the game, all that stuff. But early downs and early parts of the game, you don't have to put the ball in harm's way as often as he does."

Below the Fold

The Chargers didn't practice on Thursday, as the team received news Wednesday evening that a player tested positive for COVID-19. "Hoag Performance Center remains open, and the team will follow its normal practice and meeting schedule," the Chargers said in a statement. "All meetings will be held virtually."

Neither of the two former Broncos that now play for the Chargers will return to Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday. Cornerback Chris Harris Jr. has been on injured reserve since Sept. 29 with a foot injury, and tight end Virgil Green was placed on IR on Thursday. Week 16 will be the next opportunity for these two to match up against their former team, assuming they're able to recover from their injuries and return to the active roster.

The Unclassifieds

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