While I was driving back and forth across the country to drop my daughter off at college (Iowa and Indiana are quite lovely… Nebraska? Eh.) I was able to reflect on the Broncos’ decision to go with Teddy Bridgewater over Drew Lock.
I’m trying to find the silver lining in all this. If the Broncos get off to a quick start and win games early, then it doesn’t matter who’s playing quarterback. Broncos Country will be happy. If they don’t, then the likelihood of switching to Lock goes up and he gets upward of seven to eight starts to show what he can do.
That’s the positive spin. However, my heart really isn’t in it.
I don’t agree with the decision to start Bridgewater, nor, the motivation behind it.
Let’s be honest. This is about Vic Fangio trying to save his job. I don’t blame Vic. If I was in his shoes, I’d probably do the same thing. If I’m going down, I’m going down with a veteran like Bridgewater who has the reputation of being a “safe” QB over the young wildcard that is Lock.
The problem is this shouldn’t be about Vic’s motivation. It should be about what’s best for the franchise moving forward.
That’s why I point the blame finger at George Paton. He came in with six-year contract and a promise to build this thing up smartly and patiently. That would indicate a big picture view of things, right? Yet, the first big move out of the gate is to allow the coach to make a move that’s all about the short term.
I get it. Once Paton decided (or was told) to keep Fangio and his staff, then the only real fair thing to do is let the coach make the decisions as he sees fit. My point it, why was that ever an option?
If I’m Paton and I’m looking at the big picture, I’m okay with being open minded about Fangio, but it comes on my terms. That means when it comes to the QB, I’m demanding a big-picture philosophy. Sorry, Bridgewater just doesn’t check that box.
I don’t have a beef with Teddy. He’s an easy guy to like. He’s an easy guy to root for. He’s a competent quarterback. But there’s nothing about his game that points to him being the long-term answer.
Please don’t take this as some ringing endorsement for Lock, either. I have no idea if Lock can be “The Guy.” However, I have seen improvement this offseason.
I’ve seen more maturity. I’ve seen a better understanding of what he’s seeing and trying to accomplish on the field. Yes, he still makes familiar mistakes. But, his mechanics look better. His decision making looks better. His arm talent is undeniable.
Can I say with 100 percent certainty that he’s the answer? Nope. But I want to see more. I see upside and potential with Lock that I just don’t see with Bridgewater.
If I thought this team could win 10 to 11 games with Teddy as opposed to just seven or eight with Drew, I’d endorse this move. However, I don’t see this as a 10- or 11-win team. I see it as an eight- or nine-win team. That’s a record that would be the same with either Bridgewater or Lock as the QB.
All things equal, go with the QB who might give you a future at the most important position in all of sports versus the quarterback who might, might be able to save the coach’s job.