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Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater? Broncos open training camp with two quarterbacks motivated to win job.

Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater? Broncos open training camp
with two quarterbacks motivated to win job. 1

Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater? The Broncos began their pursuit of the answer to that question Wednesday morning as the team’s quarterback competition officially began on Day 1 of training camp.

Lock, still trying to prove himself after throwing a league-high 15 interceptions last year, took the first snap. But from there, it was nearly equal reps between him and newcomer Teddy Bridgewater.

The incumbent knows what’s at stake for himself and the franchise overall as the Broncos, buoyed by what’s expected to be a strong defense, desperately need a QB capable of breaking a five-year playoff drought.

“That’s what we’re out here to do — it’s competition 24/7,” Lock said. “Whether it’s the meeting room, how fast we eat our food at the lunch table. I’m surprised (our arrival times at the facility) aren’t out there yet, either. I suppose if I was a fan, that’s what would make it fun. But when you’re within these walls… it’s all about us getting better every day.

“Anytime I break this team down, we’re going to break down on ‘win,’ because we have to just talk about it, be about it, live it (all the time). That’s what we want and that’s what this team deserves.”

Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throws on day one of Denver Broncos training camp at the UCHealth Training Center July 28, 2021.

Lock said his competition with Bridgewater is “motivating.”

This offseason, that apparently meant adding some bulk to his 6-foot-4 frame, as the third-year pro checked into camp at a toned 230 pounds, about 12 pounds heavier than his playing weight last year.

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“For a lack of a better term, I feel like I’m not going through puberty anymore,” Lock joked. “I’m getting some grown-man strength and it feels nice.”

In addition to the extra muscle, Lock said reflecting on last year’s failures, when he went 4-9 as a starter, has made him a better quarterback.

“I feel like I’m a smarter player now,” Lock said. “The chances I do take are more calculated chances, rather than when I was a rookie or in my second year. When I press the ball, I have confidence it’s going to be a safer call… The gunslinger mentality can still be there, but it’s got to be a calculated gunslinger rather than just a sprayer.”

Bridgewater, meanwhile, has a “survivor” mindset in his fourth NFL stop. Bridgewater, Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2014, says his goal every day in his first training camp at UCHealth Training Center is to “take the approach like it’s my first time learning, and that way, I’m never feeling like I know too much.”

The 28-year-old veteran, who was 4-11 in 15 starts for Carolina last year, is confident in his ability to keep adapting to offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s system over the next few weeks.

“You can throw me in the jungle, and I’m going to come out with a fur coat and a headband made of some leaves,” Bridgewater said. “It’s about surviving (in my career) at this point, and ever day I have a fire that is lit.”

Coach Vic Fangio, who said Monday that Lock and Bridgewater would probably each get one preseason start, assessed that both quarterbacks “did well” on the opening day of camp.

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