From the moment Drew Lock injured his thumb in August, he has kept his finger on the pulse of what's best for his career. During his three-month absence on injured reserve, he worked on his footwork and arm angle, and studied practices using virtual reality. He also strengthened relationships with teammates, showing humility as he gleaned insight.
Inheriting an offense that could put coffee to sleep, Lock caffeinated the Broncos, winning four of his five starts, while providing hope for the fan base despite the team's fourth straight season without a playoff berth. Lock promised to attack the offseason with similar vigor. He continues to take the right steps. Appearing on 104.3 The Fan on Friday morning, future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning revealed that Lock, as he said he would, has reached out for advice.
"Drew and I have talked. He was kind of asking my thoughts on the offseason training, kind of how I went about it, when do I start my throwing, lifting and all that ," Manning told his former teammate, Brandon Stokley.
Manning went to work, putting together a plan. The pair planned to revisit the discussion this week, but Lock, per Manning, had his wisdom teeth extracted. They plan to talk soon. The bigger takeaway is that Lock is seeking to cultivate a relationship with Manning, who makes his full-time residence in Denver. Lock and Manning know each other going back to Lock's time at Manning's passing academy for high school and college prospects. During the season, Manning and Lock spoke on the sidelines before at least one game as Lock recovered from his injury. And Manning and his father, Archie, both texted Lock after his successful debut against the Chargers.
Lock brings optimism because of his talent, confidence and coachability. He completed 100 of 156 passes for 1,020 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. Notably, he learned from mistakes, and was accountable. His teammates rallied around him, with left guard Dalton Risner telling Denver7 recently, "He has that fire. He is hungry to be great."
Few have ever played the position better than Manning. In his four seasons with the Broncos, he claimed four AFC titles, appeared in two Super Bowls, and won Super Bowl 50. Manning carved out a reputation for his intense work ethic and staggering attention to detail. So Lock listening to his advice can only be a good thing as looks to accelerate his development.
"I have enjoyed keeping up with Drew since he's been here and try to be there as a resource," Manning said. "Certainly, he has great coaches and people in his ear over there at the Broncos. But I like to be there for him like any quarterback who has a question. If I can help him, I am certainly happy to try."
Broncos coach Vic Fangio met with quarterbacks coach candidate Mike Shula on Thursday. It went well, and he remains the favorite to land the position under new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Shurmur and Shula worked together the past two seasons with the New York Giants. ... An announcement is expected soon on whether the Broncos will face the Atlanta Falcons in London next season. It would be a home game for the Falcons and will likely be played in the first two weeks of October.