Broncos 'Pretty Damn Close' to Naming Starting Quarterback, Vic Fangio Says

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 18, 2021

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio looks on as players take part in drills during an NFL football training camp at the team's headquarters Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio told reporters Wednesday that he is "pretty damn close" to naming the team's starting quarterback to begin the 2021 season.

"Pretty damn close, but you know we have more information coming, OK?" Fangio said, per Troy Renck of Denver7, when asked if he had enough facts to make a decision at this juncture.

The race is between incumbent starter Drew Lock and newly acquired Teddy Bridgewater, who was QB1 for the Carolina Panthers last year.

Denver is set to begin its season at the New York Giants on Sunday, Sept. 12.

The 24-year-old Lock, who the Broncos selected 42nd overall in the 2019 NFL draft, completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 13 games. The pick mark tied for the league lead with Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller Carson Wentz.

The former Missouri Tiger finished 32nd out of 35 qualifiers in quarterback rating and 29th in QBR, per Pro Football Reference.

The 28-year-old Bridgewater completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He finished 22nd in quarterback rating and 17th in QBR.

He had signed a three-year deal with Carolina before the season, but the Panthers opted to go in a different direction following the campaign and traded him to Denver for a sixth-round pick.

Renck gave his take on the current quarterback race.

"It feels like this QB derby is talking longer than the last day of school. The media, myself included, crave an answer, even though I have the competition graded as a 7-7-2 in the viewed workouts.
"The past two days, however, reinforced why Fangio is not pressing the gas pedal. Neither quarterback has played particularly well. Tuesday was a mess of drops and poor plays, and Wednesday Lock played well early before ending with a series of incompletions, and Bridgewater started slowly but finished with a long touchdown connection to Trinity Benson."

The eventual QB1 will have a bevy of weapons at his disposal, especially with Courtland Sutton returning to the mix after missing nearly all of last year due to a torn ACL.

He, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler make up a dynamic quartet at wideout, and the explosive Noah Fant is capable of making big plays at tight end.

Melvin Gordon returns at running back, and he'll be flanked by an impressive rookie in UNC's Javonte Williams, who Denver selected in Round 2.