John Elway: Drew Lock isn’t ready to play now


The Broncos aren’t ready to make a quarterback change, primarily because they don’t think they have an option that’s ready.

As tempting (and easy) as it would be to move on from Joe Flacco after a 2-5 start, there are a few practical realities preventing them from doing so.

Second-round pick Drew Lock is expected to start practicing again soon, in hopes of returning from the broken thumb that landed him on injured reserve. But they haven’t started the clock on him yet, perhaps because the boss isn’t sure he’s prepared to play anytime soon.

Via Nicki Jhabvala of, Broncos General Manager John Elway said during an interview on KOA that he’s still thinking about the future of Lock.

“I will say this: The most important thing for a young quarterback is not to put him out there before he’s ready,” Elway said. “So that is the most important thing and if he’s not ready, we’re not going to put him out there. That is the key thing. And as you know dealing with quarterbacks, it’s a very tough thing because if you don’t put him in a situation where he has a chance to be successful and he’s not successful, the whole roof will cave in. So we have to make sure that Drew is ready when he does get in there, if he does get in there.

“We’re still in the process of evaluating that. He is not ready to go right now, I will tell you that.”

Elway recalled his own experience, in which he was benched during his fifth game in 1983, only to get the job back four games later because of injury.

“Really the four games I was benched, I learned a hell of a lot more than in the four games I played just because it’s such a big step,” Elway said. “Then Steve DeBerg got hurt and it gave me a second chance that year, so I was able to come back and had a different viewpoint of it after I sat for those four games.

“So I think that’s why with young quarterbacks, it’s always good for them to see what it’s all about and the step that it takes instead of throwing them right into the fire, because very few of these guys have a lot of success early. They’re going to take their lumps. As I did and as most quarterbacks do, they’re going to take their lumps, and they have to be able to withstand that, and they got to be able to withstand the negative stuff that’s going to come with the part that he continues to get better.”

Of course, the atmosphere Elway created (they’re 2-5 and their best wide receiver just asked to be traded and was) is the negative one that might stunt Lock’s growth, which might make it best for Lock to wait.

54 responses to “John Elway: Drew Lock isn’t ready to play now

  1. I love my Broncos – always have and always will. Elway has made a mockery of this team to put us in this position. Of course Lock isn’t ready yet – he’s still on IR and is just able to get back to the practice field. We probably will go 0-2 before our bye week, which will be the catalyst for putting Lock in there. Flacco will ride the pine for the rest of the year (like he did in Baltimore) and be a one and done QB in Denver. I really hope Lock is our future QB because we NEED stability in order to be able to convince free agents that Denver is an attractive place to play. If we don’t get this figured out in 3 years, Elway and the entire front office needs canned.

  2. John Elway has a lot of experience throwing young QBs into the fire and watching them melt down.

  3. If only Broncos could spend nearly 60% over the cap limit like they did – twice – to steal your 2 super bowl titles then he could be a fake champ like you.

  4. The time on the bench really helped Paxton Lynch’s development…oh wait, that’s right, it just set the franchise back three years. Let’s not make the same mistake with Locke! We need to see what direction the needle is pointing before the 2020 draft, and we need a sample size larger than the last two games of the season.

  5. I told you Broncos fans that until ownership gets resolved you’re stuck with one of the WORST GM’s in the NFL, and Elway can’t get fired fast enough once the lawsuits get settled, but it looks like that won’t be happening for some time which means the Broncos organization is a ship without a Captain for the foreseeable future

  6. This guy has no clue how to manage an NFL team. Poor Fangio is regretting every second of his mistake leaving Chicago.

  7. Aside from bringing in Manning to get the last couple of years out of him has Elway done anything right at the QB position? Doesn’t really seem like he has, which isn’t good over a decade at the most important position on the field.

  8. When an old, slow, white guy with a huge arm is a free agent and Bruce Arians doesn’t want to sign him, he definitely sucks. The Broncos should have seen this coming.

  9. Translation:”Yeah, he’s not really picking up the pro game as well as we thought he would”

  10. Elway was ok but really got his Superbowl from the newly introduced zone blocking that swept the league. This also made every RB great. Now everyone uses it and it’s defended well.

  11. I think this comment has a lot more to do with their idiotic decision to restructure Flacco’s contract the day before the season started. That basically screwed any thought of going with anyone other than Flacco for the next 2-3 years. Every decision the Broncos make is about making or saving money. I am not saying Lock is ready to go right now however we do need to know if he is a player or if you need to maybe draft another one next year. Leaving him on the bench so he cannot even practice if pretty idiotic.

  12. Drew Locket isn’t ready to play? If you want to see someone not ready to play, take a look at the clownshow under center right now.

  13. Flacco may be the most overrated QB to ever play in the NFL (with the possible exception of Sam Bradford). Flacco had one good (lucky?) year and won a Super Bowl. He’s done essentially nothing ever since. Why do you think Baltimore was fine with letting him go as soon as they had Lamar Jackson on the team? Flacco is uninspiring as a leader and, even worse, is incapable of producing. When the trade to Denver was made, I said that the Broncos got fleeced. They were and continue to be. Denver is in a mess, with no viable QB on the roster. It’s sad. Elway was a great QB but he sucks as a GM.

  14. I think that Elway wants to hold back Lock for as long as possible because if Lock proves to be (another) one of his QB draft busts then it could accelerated Elway’s departure.

  15. Elway started out so strong with landing Peyton, the Super Bowl, etc. But over the past 2-3 seasons I couldn’t begin to tell you what his grand plan is. They just keep shuffling through veteran QBs with a seemingly random stab every year or two at finding somebody in the draft. Nobody has looked good since Peyton and no small coincidence is their line has been down ever since then. If that got fixed I have the feeling the QBs would look a whole lot better.

  16. John, you refused to play for the (then) in Baltimore Colts in 1983 when they drafted you. You ran Dan Reeves out of town when he was your head coach. You didn’t particularly care for Mike Shanahan when he coached you. QB’s and Coaches etc. Is this your A-HA moment??? Meaning, maybe it’s You!!??

  17. Looking back, it’s astonishing how lucky Elway got in his first few years as a GM. Yes, he lured Peyton Manning to Denver. He also gambled on several defensive free agents and won. He also inherited Von Miller from Josh McDaniels. He fell into Wade Phillips for defensive coordinator after no other team wanted him.

    His luck has run out.

  18. Great we have more draft picks now, under no circumstances should Elnoway be allowed to have any input as to how they are used. Broncos country is screwed until Elnoway is gone!

  19. As a lifelong Broncos fan, it pains me to say that Elway needs to be relieved of duties as the President of Football Operations/GM. He is clueless when it comes to the most important position (QB) and his player evaluation is beyond poor. Elway allows his ego to dictate decisions, like letting his former 1st round pick Garrett Bolles continue to start when he’s a terrible LT. This is the same guy that said “Flacco is still in his prime” when anyone with functioning eyes knew he was shot as a starting QB. The team, and the fans, need to see if Lock is the future and the only way to know is to let him play.

  20. Aside from bringing in Manning to get the last couple of years out of him has Elway done anything right at the QB position? Doesn’t really seem like he has, which isn’t good over a decade at the most important position on the field.

    I have been a Broncos fan since 1977 and in that time the Broncos have never drafted and developed a Quarterback. The only ones that were ever there were traded for or signed as free agents.

  21. Hahaha John Elway the QB whisperer… me if Elway thinks Lock isn’t ready then what he really means is I missed again and this kid could be in the league 6 years and he’ll never be ready.

  22. Being an NFL fan since 1955 and a Bronco fan since 1990, this is beyond a train wreck. We have no owner, we have no front office that’s any good, we have the lowest amt of staff in the NFL, we have a coach who no one wanted, & a Off. Coach that is clueless along with a QB who as a vet forgot to get rid of the ball in time, & oh yeah no one but John can fire anyone nor make a decession as who holds him accountable? The TRUST? U mean Joe Ellis who also thinks he so smart we could have had Lynch as GM & Kyle (along with Mike Shanahan) on board, but Ellis said nope. John drafted Osweiler cause he was friends with his son – oops. He drafted Lynch cause he was tall. He signed Case but refused to let him play HIS style of QB. And even with all the lame cotracts off the books next year we are so poor, we will be about 10th in cap space.

  23. Yeah , give Flacco another 2 years then maybe the kid might be ready to step in.HaHaha
    Raider Fan

  24. Damaged goods! Apparently he doesn’t have the mentality for the pro game. At least he’s not seeing ghosts!

  25. streetyson says:
    October 24, 2019 at 7:16 am
    If only Broncos could spend nearly 60% over the cap limit like they did – twice – to steal your 2 super bowl titles then he could be a fake champ like you.
    A patriots’ fan lecturing others about integrity. Lol.

  26. John Elway, in his prime, would Flacco behind that O-line. Every QB since Peyton has Flacco’d behind that line. John should quit drafting QB’s and start drafting linemen. What does their LT have? 345 holding penalties in the last 25 games?!?! Pretty sure a boat anchor could do a better job.

  27. Either Lock’s the man or he isn’t. If you get him first team reps in practice and he looks good, then you need to play him. After all, the NFL is a game played live against other teams. There’s literally no other way to know what you have.

    So, Elway. Either admit you chose poorly or give the kid a shot because Flacco is the answer to a question no one asked and that’s been made crystal clear.

  28. very curious what theyll do if they have a top 3 pick and a shot at a top qb.

    But knowing elway, he’ll trade the pick and get a TE/CB/OT bust later in the round

  29. Why on Earth is Elway saying this and not the head coach? He’s undercutting the guys on the sideline, and lording over everything like he always has. Nobody can grow under this guy.

  30. But you have such fond memories of Elway to keep you warm and content. Give it another 5 years before you start whining about how much you miss the conference championship round.

  31. Dear Bronco fans, Lock is not your future QB as long as Elway doesn’t get a good offensive line. It’s not going to happen. He will get beat into the ground and never develop.

  32. Elway’s only hope is that Tom Brady becomes a free agent and he can convince Brady to come to Denver. Elways is one of the all time great quarterbacks, and yet he has not been able to find a good one in the draft. He should thank Brock Osweiler for rejecting Elway’s generous offer to stay and picking Houston instead.

  33. The most important thing for a young QB is to go to a well run organization with good coaching. Who drafts you is more important than when you play.

  34. Not one single positive comment about Elway’s current activity as a GM: a unanimous and epic fail. Other than Elway getting a huge assist from Brandon Stokely and John Lynch to sign Peyton Manning as a free agent, the Broncos have otherwise been in decline since Jay Cutler was drafted by Mike Shanahan without ever having interviewed Cutler. For real.

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