The Broncos quarterback battle is the hottest topic in Denver these days, with Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock tussling to see who will take the reins of a playoff-ready roster.
Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur — talking to the media for the first time since the 2020 season ended — noted that both QBs have improved throughout minicamp.
“They’re both getting better,” Shurmur said, per the Denver Post. “Obviously, they’ve both gotten work with the 1s and shared the workload. I’ve seen improvement in Drew’s decision-making, timing and accuracy and for Teddy, it’s more about getting up to speed on what we’ve done and he’s right on board with the things we’re doing.”
The QBs have split reps during OTAs and minicamps this offseason. According to beat reporters at practice, each has had highs and lows, though Lock’s swings have been more drastic.
The battle will continue into July’s training camp and the preseason in August. With just three preseason games, coach Vic Fangio said he hasn’t decided how to handle the final exhibition tilt against Los Angeles — sit his starters or use it as the final determiner in the QB battle.
“As far as the work preceding [the Rams game], it’s going to be 50-50 somehow someway,” Fangio said, reiterating his plan to split reps evenly. “There may be days when one of them gets more work than the other, and the next day, the other guy gets more work. Some days will be 50-50, some will be 60-40. In the final analysis, they’ll be pretty (darn) even in the work and opportunities.”
Shurmur has been around the NFL block, but this season marks the first true, no-holds-barred QB battle he’s shepherding in 12 years as an OC or head coach.
“This has been a very important time for all of us — we’ve gotten almost a half season’s worth of reps through the OTAs and minicamp,” Shurmur said. “I think we’ve built a really good foundation not only for the quarterbacks, but for the team going into training camp.”
Shurmur has experience with both QBs. The 56-year-old called plays for Lock last season, and he was in Minnesota for two years as Bridgewater rehabbed, making his comeback from a gruesome knee injury.
Shurmur noted that Bridgewater has been “able to pick things up quickly” and that Lock has improved in Year 2 in the system.
“Drew obviously has made great progress from a year ago,” he said. “Last year, he went into the season raw without having an offseason and he worked his way through it and he did a lot of good things. I think he’s built on the good things he did a year ago.”
By most accounts, the two QBs are neck-and-neck heading into training camp — perhaps with Bridgewater getting the slimmest of edges at this point.
Fangio has said throughout the entire process that the plan is to split reps in training camp until one of the QBs stands out. We’re just over a month from this competition truly heating up.