Drew Lock: 'Zero time to listen' to chatter about QB competition with Teddy Bridgewater

Organized team activities have only just begun, but the Denver Broncos quarterback competition between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater has already been a prevailing storyline for sometime.

Head coach Vic Fangio got the ball rolling when he let it be known the two would split reps "50-50," and whomever it was that got the first offseason rep might be decided by the flip of a coin.

Teammates have weighed in and it's all really been going since Denver obtained Bridgewater in a trade with the Carolina Panthers in April.

For Bridgewater, who's on his third roster in as many seasons, and Lock, who's entering his third season and trying to hold on to the starting spot, though, they're doing their best to block out all the chatter and focus on the task at hand: Winning the Broncos' QB1 battle.

"What's so ironic—I saw Von [Miller] this morning when he came in the building. The first thing he said today was, 'You're here to play football now.' That's my mindset now. I'm here to play football and whatever happens, happens," Bridgewater said Monday -- via team transcript -- when asked if he came to Denver with the expectation of being the starting quarterback. "I'm here to help this team become a better team. I'm here to help players become better football players and men become better men. Whatever happens, I'm here to play football and I'll take whatever comes with it."

Tossed in amid all the competition chatter was talk of the Broncos being in the running to acquire Packers quarterback and generational talent Aaron Rodgers via trade. That came after an offseason filled with talk aplenty regarding the Broncos bringing in a veteran to at the very least push Lock if not supplant him. Obviously, that came to fruition with Bridgewater's addition, but that didn't change anything for Lock.

"No, believe it or not," Lock said. "It was not because I decided that I was going to develop a plan this offseason. It was going to be really long days, but it was going to be worth every single second of it because regardless of what happened, if I stayed here, I left or they brought someone in, my mindset was not going to change wherever I went. If I went somewhere or if I stayed here, I was going to be the guy. I put every single ounce in that this offseason. Being able to do that gave me zero time to listen to all of this stuff. Maybe I'll go back one day, read and laugh about things that were being said by people who ended up being completely wrong."

Whether it's fans screaming from the stands, the media clamoring for answers or the buzz of social media, noise is always prevalent for NFL players and most assuredly for quarterbacks. The volume is turned up to 11 when it comes to QB competitions, though.

And while the chatter's already been humming about for some time now, it is still early in the process and Lock and Bridgewater are saying the right things.

How long that continues remains to be seen as the competition is hardly close to its conclusion.

"Not really," Fangio said Monday when asked if either of his quarterbacks could create separation in OTAs. "It may be separation in some people's minds, but until we get to at least practicing 11-on-11, you need to withhold much judgment. Eleven-on-11, and ultimately, the preseason games will be the true tell."

There will be no QB1 decision or relent on talk regarding who will be QB1 anytime soon.

"Honestly man, I just keep my head down and control what I can control," Bridgewater said. "I tell everyone that. In this business, you have to wear big-boy drawers, and I wear them. A lot can happen in this business. Each day is an opportunity for me to get better as a person, as a teammate, as a family member, and in any aspect that I can. When everything came out, I really didn't know until someone brought it to my attention. I'm in my own little world sometimes and far away from football. When the news broke, I don't even remember what I was doing. Like I said, it's a business and I understand the nature of this business."

At 28-years-old, Bridgewater is a veteran who's started 20 games over the past two seasons and 49 since he was drafted by the Vikings in the first round in 2014. Despite his veteran tag, though, he's learning the offense and getting adjusted to fresh surroundings.

"I'm sure there's some rust and some uneasiness about exactly what we're doing," Fangio said, "but I'm sure there is a lot of carryover to what he's done at other places."

Lock, meanwhile, is still just 24 and entering his third year with 18 starts over the past two seasons. While he's technically the incumbent starter, he's competing not just to win the QB1 spot but to keep hope alive that he can be the franchise quarterback of the future.

Though Bridgewater and Lock are at vastly different points in their careers, they're each aiming to settle in in Denver, vying for the same goal and taking the same outlook on how to handle it in terms of blocking out the noise.

Make no mistake, though, a battle is at hand in Denver.

"I'm here to compete and do everything you can to be the best quarterback for this team," Lock said. "That is the mindset that I have right now. It's going to be fun. I'm excited to be able to go out there and have this competition, push myself to whole different level that maybe I wouldn't have gotten to without this."

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