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8 plays from Drew Lock's 2021 preseason debut that show the positives and negatives of his game
Seaside Joe 1168: And why you should never make a pun that's already been punned to death
The Seahawks are welcoming a slew of new names this year and because of that I am going to give my advice all offseason on what puns are acceptable to use, and which are far too easy or hack to be used and reused into oblivion. Today, I’ll start with one of the most obvious carrot sticks on the roster: Andrew Stephen Lock.
Can you imagine if there was a quarterback named Paul Lock, which feels terrible coming off the tongue (it’s literally the same mouth motion you make when vomiting) and when said together sounds like either the fish or the painter. A man with the name “Paul Lock” should not be a quarterback, he should either be an electrician or at best it could be the pseudonym for one of the CIA agents who secretly shot JFK.
But that is not Lock’s first name, which is indeed Andrew.
Consider that if Drew had been going by his full first name that a quarterback named Andrew Lock would have entered the NFL at the exact same time that Andrew Luck retired. Lots of confusion on the name, but no lack of clarity when comparing film.
Seahawks fans might also get to enjoy a Lock-to-Lockett connection next season that would be on par with Manning-to-Manningham, or the lesser appreciated Carr-to-Carrier, at least in name value.
What I don’t want to see from anyone over the next eight months are lazy references to mechanical devices that secure items of importance or being secure. None of this:
Lock It Up / Lock It In / Locked Down
A Google search for “Drew Lock pun” returns far too many posts that have the phrase “(no pun intended)”, which in itself is overused and unnecessary. I think you can safely assume that your audience—whether that be thousands of people or just that one person you’re texting—is aware that sometimes you might have to use the words “lock” or “drew” (“He drew the defense offsides”) when speaking about Drew Lock.
This isn’t to discourage people from using puns. Quite the opposite. I’m a fan of comedy and word play. This is intended to encourage people to throw out their first six drafts of a pun, until you finally might get down to one that perhaps nobody else has thought of before. Lock has been a four-year starter in the SEC, a second round NFL draft pick, and has started 21 games for the Broncos, so at this point you must assume that you’re not the first person to write or say something like “Lock: Out“ and that Lock has heard it all before.
So aspiring writers and wordsmiths out there, ask yourself, “At what point am I going to gradrewate to making better puns?”
I want to see them. I’m rooting for you. But if we do have to sit through an underwhelming 17-game season at quarterback, at least spare us the hacky puns intended or not.
Sidenote: I don’t consider it a pun when someone uses a different “-ock” word, like “Detroit Lock City”, for example. That’s a different kind of wordplay. But I do find myself intrigued by the idea of taking the last four letters of Pete’s full name and writing the headline, “Lock ‘n ‘Roll”. Do with it what you will.
Now that we’ve covered some words, let’s get to some pictures and gifs.
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Drew Lock vs Teddy Bridgewater vs Vic Fangio
As I wrote last week, there have long been rumors that former Broncos head coach Vic Fangio loathed Lock’s personality and that the two couldn’t get on the same page. It’s certainly easier to side with Lock on this one because a) he’s a player, not a grumpy coach with a decades-long reputation for being a curmudgeon and b) Fangio isn’t on the Seahawks, though he’s got disciples helping with Seattle’s defense this year.
But I don’t like judging a person’s character based on hearsay and through small :15 second snippets of their life. Without me personally being involved with the Broncos over the last three years, I can’t say if I would absolutely side with Lock or Fangio, and ultimately it didn’t matter because both were essentially fired by the team this year.
I would rather judge Lock based on how he’s performed on the football field and that requires me to watch a lot more Denver Broncos football than I ever have before. Unfortunately, Lock lost his training camp competition against Teddy Bridgewater in 2021 and didn’t make his first start of the season until Week 16, and the three appearances he made prior to that went horribly wrong.
It’s hard to judge any quarterback based on three brief appearances spread out sporadically over two months, but Lock didn’t perform much better over his three starts and ultimately I do believe it’s fair to say that he bares some responsibility for five of Denver’s 10 losses last season—not good news that those were the only five games in which he threw at least 10 passes.
Statistically, Lock was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL last season, managing only two touchdowns throws on 111 attempts, and ranking 33rd in completion percentage and 30th in passer rating. It’s hard to judge him without getting at least two or three times as many opportunities, but as a full-time starter in 2020, Lock ranked 41st in completion percentage (57.3), 37th in adjusted yards per attempt, and he managed only 16 touchdowns on 443 attempts.
Over the past two seasons combined, Lock ranked 33rd out of 33 quarterbacks (minimum 400 attempts) in completion percentage, 31st in passer rating (ahead of only Sam Darnold, Trevor Lawrence), and 29th in AY/A.
Still, if it was a true 50/50 quarterback competition last camp, it’s one that you would have thought Drew Lock could have realistically won if it were heavily weighted by preseason performances coupled with the fact that Lock is exactly four years younger than Bridgewater.
I should be the last person to cite, credit, or blame preseason passing statistics and performances, but if that was going to be Lock’s first line on a resume to start in the NFL then he nailed it: 19-of-28, 298 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
vs Vikings: 5/7, 151 yards, 2 TD
vs Seahawks: 9/14, 80 yards
vs Rams: 5/7, 67 yards, 1 TD
In Lock’s first appearance of the competition, he opened his set with an 80-yard touchdown throw to K.J. Hamler:
Lock’s arm strength is unquestionable, as he effortlessly threw this pass from his own 11 to Minnesota’s 29. It takes more than curls and flexing your “show muscles” to throw a football 60 air yards so comfortably. These plays require the type of mechanics, footwork, and physics that only comes with a lot of practice.
But while it is great to fantasize about a world where every throw your quarterback attempts is an 80-yard touchdown, these plays are like a boxer’s uppercut knockout punch—fun idea, albeit one that is at most two-percent of your arsenal.
From the other angle, we get an equal display of arm strength and preseason defense.
On the previous drive, Denver’s first of the 2021 preseason, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur called two Javonte Williams run plays (another early second round running back who, perhaps like Kenneth Walker III, should prove more than worthy of his draft slot) to setup play action by Lock. We should see plenty of play action from Lock in 2022, assuming that Geno Smith doesn’t have the same advantages in Seattle that Bridgewater had with Fangio.
Put in a position to succeed, which in this case includes a one-look, one-throw 15-yard zinger to Hamler, Lock’s arm strength and intermediate passing abilities put him a step above the 2022 quarterback draft class. Hamler added another 15 or so yards after the catch, another factor that Shane Waldron will be counting on from Seattle’s receiver group this season—a perfect role for D’Wayne Eskridge.
But at the end of the drive, facing fourth-and-2 after a series of runs (and a penalty that called back a rushing touchdown), Lock’s one read attempt to hit Jerry Jeudy on the slant is thwarted by a Vikings cornerback.
On the Broncos’ third drive of the game, leading 9-3, I can’t quite excuse Lock’s errant sideline throw to Hamler just because he was bailed out by an offsides penalty.
On the next play, Lock makes perhaps the best decision at his disposal, rolling out for a six-yard run instead of forcing it to any covered receivers.
However, a second look at #16 (Tyrie Cleveland) may have resulted in a first down throw—and more.
Following a first down run, Drew Lock focuses his read on Jeudy the entire time and unloads a hopeful deep pass for his presumed number one receiver. But the ball sails too far and there’s no chance of a completion.
However, Lock does have his best decision of this game two plays later. Facing third-and-4 in his own territory, Lock opts against the check down, surveys three Denver receivers who’ve bunched in the middle of the field, hangs in a dangerous pocket, and takes on a hit just after he keys in on Jerry Jeudy for a first down throw.
Jeudy picked up another 20+ yards after the catch, helping us really break down where most of Lock’s 151 yards came from:
A deep bomb to an uncovered Hamler
15 yard throw+15 after the catch from Hamler
10 yard throw+20 after the catch from Jeudy
Lock finishes off his day with another play that the Seahawks are hopeful to see a lot more of in 2022.
Another play action rollout, Lock has the zip and accuracy to put the ball exactly where undrafted receiver Trinity Benson needs it in order to score the touchdown.
Lock finished the day with gaudy stats for only seven throws, but this also all came in an exhibition contest where team objectives flip around so that winning takes a backseat to personal development. This means that the Vikings didn’t always have their best players on the field, the defensive coordinator wasn’t always putting them in the best position to succeed, and everyone is still shaking off anywhere from nine months to a full year or more of rust since their last football game.
What I did see from Lock was a strong arm and an adequate passer in the short and intermediate areas of the field, but also one who could be inaccurate when throwing to the sidelines and who got a lot of help from his receivers after the catch.
Certainly, I think Pete Carroll and Shane Waldron will be looking to do more of the same by mitigating his weaknesses, highlighting his strengths, and shortening the distance to the chains on third down to a much greater degree than they did for Russell Wilson over the last couple of seasons, otherwise we will see more of Michael Dickson next season than we care to; Broncos punter Sam Martin found that out in Week 4, when he punted four times on Lock’s first four drives after the quarterback replaced Bridgewater at halftime against the Ravens in a 23-7 loss.
It’s always bad news when Lock heeds Martin.
The Seahawks need to be a much better rushing team in order for Lock or Smith to be successful and that’s not something we’ve talked about much on Seaside Joe yet… but we will.
So subscribe, share, and let me know what you think of Drew Lock’s first game of 2021 in the comments!