Broncos Football Bridgewater, Lock July 2021

Denver Broncos quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater, front, and Drew Lock take part in drills at an NFL football training camp at team headquarters Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

ENGLEWOOD — No, Broncos coach Vic Fangio didn't name a starting quarterback the first day of training camp. 

But the battle between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater did officially start Wednesday, if you don't count organized team activities — which Fangio said would only account for approximately 3% of the competition. And yes, it is a true competition with the two splitting snaps 50-50. Lock took the first snap Wednesday because of seniority with the Broncos, and Bridgewater will take the first snap Thursday. 

Neither, though, will likely be named the starter until after the second preseason game against the Seahawks on Aug. 21, as Fangio hopes to give each quarterback one preseason start. Fangio did say he thought Lock and Bridgewater had "a little bit more piss and vinegar" in them Wednesday than they did during OTAs. 

"It was good," Fangio said. "I prefer to watch the tape first to give you a better answer, but from my point of view out there, I thought they both did well."

Both had their ups and downs, with neither really finding a groove until later in the day. 

Lock's best throw came on a 35-yard touchdown pass to Trinity Benson. He also hit Jerry Jeudy for a touchdown pass, though, Jeudy might have been tackled if it were a real game. Lock also took what would have likely been a couple of sacks, holding onto the ball too long. 

Bridgewater's best throw came on an incompletion — his only one during team period — hitting Tyrie Cleveland in the hands on a deep post route in the end zone. Bridgewater also made a couple of nice reads across the middle, finding Jeudy and KJ Hamler for big gains. 

All in all, Lock had the bigger and flashier plays, while Bridgewater was the more decisive quarterback.

But while everyone is attempting to keep play-by-play stats on the two, it's important to remember they often rotate with the first and second teams on offense and defense, making it hard to say one quarterback played better than the other.

"Each day is a new day," Lock said. "Once you start getting wrapped up in 'Teddy won today' or 'I won today' — I think it becomes a little less about this team and us getting better, and more about yourself and that's where things can take a downward turn."

This will likely prove to be a pivotal year both Lock's and Bridgewater's careers. 

Lock is entering what many consider a make-or-break third season with the Broncos, and he's well aware of the pressure he's under to win this competition. 

"If anything, I'd say it's motivating," Lock said. "Everyone talks about staying focused, controlling what you can control. My idea is coming out with energy every single day, focus on me, make the plays when they come to me when I'm there and congratulate Teddy when he makes a good play and we'll talk about when I make a bad play or when he makes a bad play.

"I feel like I'm a smarter player now. I think the chances that I do take are more calculated chances rather than when maybe I was a rookie or in that second year. ... The gunslinger mentality can still be there, but it's got to be a calculated gunslinger." 

Bridgewater is on his fourth team in seven years, being traded to the Broncos from the Panthers in April. He hopes Denver will become his permanent home. 

"I'm a survivor. You can throw me in the jungle and I'm going to come out with a fur coat and a headband I made out of some leaves," Bridgewater said. "I feel like it's just about surviving at this point. Every day I have a fire that's lit and it's like, man, God has placed me in different positions for a reason. And I've made an impact everywhere that I've been, some on the field, some off the field. So for me, this is an opportunity for me to just come in and compete.

"I talked to Elway when I got here and he said when he got here, he never left. And I said, hey, that's my plan, too."

It's a long journey ahead for both quarterbacks, with no timeline on when a starter will be named. But come Sept. 12 when the Broncos travel to face the Giants, whoever is the starting quarterback, he'll have one objective: win. 

"The main goal, besides this competition, is us to start winning games here," Lock said. "And I think we can do that with this team that we have. There's just a different feeling around this building right now and it's really fun to be a part of." 

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