Broncos Football Lock

Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock takes part in drills during a mandatory minicamp at the NFL team's training headquarters Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Englewood. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

On the first day of the Broncos' mandatory minicamp, Drew Lock looked like a different player than he did a week ago — or even several months ago.

Last week, during Monday's organized team activities practice, Lock was hesitant, throwing two interceptions during Denver's team period. But this week, on Tuesday at minicamp, Lock looked like the quarterback the Broncos hope he can be, throwing three touchdowns while being decisive with the ball.

"I'd say due to the studying and the work in this offseason, I've been able to be a lot more confident out there," Lock said. "My confidence is high right now, but that's just because we're at practice and everything. I'm just excited about where this is going."

Lock started a little shaky Tuesday, unable to find receivers down the field. But after his first few throws, he settled in, hitting wide receiver Kendall Hinton and Tyrie Cleveland for big gains over the middle. He thrived in the Broncos' red-zone offense, throwing a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Beck down the seam — easily his best throw of the day, putting it only where Beck could go up and get it. And then he threw back-to-back 5-yard touchdown passes to Cleveland and tight end Noah Fant.

It's easy to see Lock is starting to reap the benefit of being in the same offensive system two years in a row with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, something Lock said would be a big positive since the end of the season.

"We've kind of started figuring each other out," Lock said of Shurmur. "He's been extremely cooperative with what I've said I like and what I've said I don't like. ... We've meshed really well this offseason. Added a couple of new things that we think might fit the style of game we play. It's just been a really fun offseason, finally being able to fine-tune things, get to things we like, maybe talk about some things we're half and half on. ... It feels very good to finally be in the same offense for a second time."

Lock has been mostly silent this offseason, sharing little details about the work he's put in that will hopefully win him the starting job over Teddy Bridgewater — who looked like the better quarterback last week, throwing several touchdowns, but struggled at times Tuesday, throwing zero touchdowns.

Tuesday, Lock gave a little insight to some of the little things he's changed in his game that he feels will elevate his play. Most notably he talked about changing his shotgun stance — going from left foot forward to a more square stance, thanks to the advice of quarterbacks coach Mike Shula.

"I would say the biggest step I tried to make — and it was reiterated to me this offseason — was just working on protections, knowing where I'm hot and knowing how to fix it," Lock said. "And my footwork. There was a lot of work that went into this offseason to try and fine-tune that footwork. It's changed a little bit, but I feel really comfortable with it."

But more than his footwork, one could easily notice Lock's confidence on the field, which is as high as it's been in terms of understanding the playbook and seeing the field.

There's still work to do, he said. And he has to prove it on the field in training camp and in preseason games to win the job. But Lock has no intentions of slowing down this offseason once minicamp is over Thursday.

"My plan stays the same — same kind of momentum and routine and schedule that I had during this offseason," Lock said. "I've decided that I'm just going to put the head down and keep grinding until this season's completely over. This is my job. This is my life. And I want it to be for a very long time. I want this team and this city to be successful, but that won't come without work."

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