ENGLEWOOD -- The term "even Steven" echoes throughout UCHealth Training Center where the Broncos wrapped up training camp Thursday. It applies to the quarterbacks, Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater.
But who even is Steven? If Google is to be trusted, the expression originates from the character Steven in Jonathan Swift's "A Journal to Stella" published in 1776.
At one points, Steven told Stella, "Now we are even."
Now 245 years later, I am not sure it applies anymore to the derby. It has not been seismic, but it appears there's been a slight shift in the quarterback race. Following his terrific performance against the Vikings and recent reps in practice, it feels like it's Lock's job to lose at Seattle -- even if Teddy Bridgewater plays well.
Of course, Seattle matters. But Lock has put himself in a good position as this competition enters the stretch run. So what, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was asked, does Lock need to do to secure the top spot?
"Play well, right? Unfortunately, you guys are charged with the math (of counting every throw and rep each day). He just needs to play well," Shurmur said.
Against the Vikings, Lock demonstrated growth, showed improvement, and "did all things we are asking of him." Now comes the hard part for Lock. Staying consistent.
He has taken care better of the ball than Bridgewater this summer, leading to a tightly contested competition. Bridgewater is viewed as the safe choice, a game manager with more experience. However, if Bridgewater cannot protect the ball better than Lock that hurts his chances. Lock, however, has not strung together back-to-back strong days as often as preferred.
Clearly, though, the competition has helped. A year ago, there was no consequence to his bad games, no trusted backup to use in relief.
Lock knew his job was in jeopardy the moment last season ended. He responded by changing his diet, workouts and throwing routine. He has taken steps forward, noticeably last Thursday against the Vikings in practice and the preseason opener. But he must continue to do his job if he wants the top job since last year's performance will hang over him if he struggles.
"I did a lot of soul searching, figuring out what I need to focus on and how I need to go about it. I really do think it made me a better football player to this point in time, but at first, it is like ugh. You get a sense of, it’s hard to even say, but a sense of gratitude for being able to still come out and fight for it and get a little competitive juices flowing early in the season and not just when you go out and step on the field and play games," Lock said.
"We have another test coming up this weekend and I’m going to go out and try to do the same thing. We’ve got a lot more practices left until the first game. I just want to come out every day and show that I’m improving."
So with apologies to Steven, it doesn't feel even. Of course that could change based on the Seattle game.
Von, Fatherhood, preseason
Von Miller remains overjoyed about becoming a father to Valor B'Vsean Miller, an 8-pound, 13-ounce baby boy. It left him emotional. "I plan for him to become a quarterback who plays golf," Miller said with a smile.
As for Miller's preseason plans. His preference is to test his ankle on natural grass, not turf, so he might not go on Saturday at Seattle, leaving his debut for Aug. 28 vs. the Rams.
"I am ready to play. I think I was ready to play last weekend. It’s just about feeling the right opportunity to play. Seattle has turf. I didn’t want my first game to be on turf. I really want to be on grass especially with the type of injury I had," Miller said.
Dre'Mont Jones remains bullish on the revamped defense. While Miller predicted Jones will have a big season, the defensive lineman sees the same thing for this unit. "I think collectively not only are we one of the best defenses, but we are one of the most athletic.. Shelby (Harris) and Mike (Purcell) as big as they are, freaky athletes. Bradley Chubb, freaky. Our corners are out of this world. We have a lot of dudes on this team.” ...
Rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain (leg irritation) returned to practice, leaving him in position to possibly play against the Seahawks. The Broncos continue to use him inside and outside in coverage.