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Broncos Quarterback Scoreboard: Teddy Bridgewater tightens quarterback competition after proving he can do more than checkdowns
Editor’s note: A Broncos quarterback competition can only mean one thing — another Broncos quarterback scoreboard. A fan favorite in the past, these stories will be posted after each and every training camp practice updating just how Denver’s quarterback competition is unfolding. At the end of each practice, 10 points will be divided among Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater with a cumulative score of the entire camp following. Which quarterback is in the lead? Find out now.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Teddy Bridgewater had a forgettable weekend on the football field, to say the least. After throwing three interceptions on Saturday, he was in desperate need of a bounce-back day following Sunday’s off day.
He did just that on Monday to keep the Broncos’ quarterback competition a true toss up.
Big-time Bridgewater bounce-back
No. 5 wanted to prove a few points during Monday’s practice. And he wasted no time proving them both on his first play.
Starting at the 50-yard line, Bridgewater dropped back and launched a bomb to a sprinting Diontae Spencer down the left numbers. With a foot of separation, the ball came down right over the speedy wideouts shoulder and into his hands at the five-yard line. Spencer easily took it the other five yards for the touchdown.
In a play, Bridgewater attempted to show that he’s not Mr. Checkdown, as many believe him to be. He also showed that he’s not going to let Drew Lock runaway with the starting job.
To really drive home that he will look further than 10 yards downfield, the very next play, Teddy looked deep again. Starting in the slot, Tim Patrick ran a fade route and had a step on the defender 25 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Bridgewater, however, put it just out of Patrick’s reach. The pass was incomplete, but Teddy’s message was delivered.
Bridgewater’s next pass in the first period on the day was a screen that was dropped by LeVante Bellamy.
The two quarterbacks started off their only 7-on-7 period on the day the same way—by throwing an interception. Out of character, Bridgewater threw into a sea of players only yards in front of where he was standing in the pocket. Undrafted rookie Curtis Robinson snatched it for the interception.
Like his practice as a whole, Bridgewater bounced back strong and finished that period with three-straight completions, including two completions to Courtland Sutton for a combined 30 yards. He saved his best throw of the period for last.
As Jerry Jeudy tore down the right sideline, Bridgewater dropped a dime 40 yards downfield right into his hands. With a defender all over him, Jeudy would have either scored a touchdown or got taken down at the five.
Working out of the end zone, Bridgewater wasn’t asked to do much as the offense ran the ball twice and Teddy completed a quick screen to Melvin Gordon.
When the field position was flipped, and the offense was working from the defense’s 15, Bridgewater was money. After a short crosser to Andrew Beck for six yards, Teddy had back-to-back touchdown passes. The first was complete to an open Bellamy in the left flat, while the second was a quick throw to Austin Fort in the right flat. Both easily took it in for six.
Working from midfield in a move-the-ball period, Teddy successfully moved the offense into field goal range thanks to a 10-yard slant to K.J. Hamler and a checkdown to Javonte Williams. Brandon McManus nailed the field goal.
Starting at midfield again, Teddy brought back the deep ball. Bridgewater found Sutton wide open down the left side and easily got him the ball for the completion. He followed that up by finding Beck open for seven yards on the right.
With another move-the-ball situation facing the offense, Bridgewater delivered again. Starting at their own 40, Bridgewater completed four-straight passes, including a six-yard completion to Jeudy on 3rd-and-5 to keep the drive going. When pressure was in his face coming off a boot to his right, Teddy kept his composure and floated the ball over the defender for a completion. Fangio stopped the offense and brought out the field goal unit before the defense could stop them.
The final period of practice was the cherry on top of Bridgewater’s impressive day. With the ball at the 50, and only 40 seconds left, the offense was down two. The goal was to get in field goal range.
Much like the beginning of practice, Teddy didn’t waste time. With Patrick Surtain all over Jeudy, Bridgewater nailed the Alabama receiver by putting it where only he could catch it. Jeudy got his feet in for the 32-yard gain. After a run play, Fangio settled for the 43-yard field goal, which McManus nailed.
Outside of Saturday’s practice, where he was off with his receivers all day long, Bridgewater has displayed terrific decision-making ability which has led to an incredibly high completion percentage. Outside of his interception to Robinson, he did that again to start the week. But on Monday, he brought the splash with multiple completions over 25 yards.
After practice, Fangio said Bridgewater “can push the ball” downfield. It was easier for the head coach to say that after Monday’s practice.
Drew Lock’s week did not start nearly as hot as his competitors. Lock faced pressure on two of his three first drop backs, coming close to being sacked on both plays.
The first play, he was able to get the ball out to Seth Williams for a five-yard completion, while he had to tuck the second one. In that period, he also hit Noah Fant for a gain of seven as the fast tight end tore across the middle of the field.
The following period, during 7-on-7s, was even tougher on the third-year quarterback. Lock held onto the ball so long on the first play, the coaches blew it dead, which is counted as a sack. Then came Lock’s first interception of camp.
Looking in the middle of the field, Lock tried to dart one past Denver’s first-round pick. However, Surtain was patrolling the middle of the field with his eyes locked on Drew, allowing him to jump the pass and snag the ball. Surtain’s impressive play displayed why he’s received praise for his vision of the field.
Lock followed up his first interception of camp with a short completion to Mike Boone, but then couldn’t connect with Beck down the right sideline for what would have been his longest play of the day up to that point.
Working out of his own end zone, with the ball at the two, Lock faced immense pressure from Derrek Tuszka off a stunt. In a game, Lock would have been very close to being taken down for a safety, but with defenders not allowed to touch the quarterback, Lock took off for a five-yard scramble on third down to buy the punt game a bit more room.
Lock had his best, and most encouraging, play of the day in the following period. In the red zone, starting at the 15, Lock hit Hamler for a five-yard gain. When faced with 4th-and-goal from the seven, Lock delivered.
Scanning the field, Lock went through his progressions starting on the left side. As he worked through his reads, he made his way to the right side of the field, where he saw Melvin Gordon open at the two. He quickly threw it to his running back, who took it the final two yards for the score.
In a high-pressure situation, Lock didn’t panic. Lock didn’t force it. And, most encouraging, Lock went through his reads until he found an open receiver. That type of patience will help take Lock’s game to the next level.
In Lock’s first move-the-ball period, his only pass attempt, a five-yard slant to Patrick, was all the offense needed to get in field goal position. Unsurprisingly, McManus nailed it.
In the next period from midfield, Lock hit Williams on a screen, but was then not able to connect with Fant or Sutton downfield. The first pass to Fant hit the outstretched receiver’s finger tips, but he wasn’t able to haul it in on the left sideline. The next play, Parnell Motley made a fantastic play on the ball to keep it away from Sutton. If the pass had been thrown ahead of Sutton as he headed toward the right sideline, there was a chance he could have made the catch, but it would have taken just the right placement in order to get it by Motley.
In the final two periods of practice, Lock wasn’t able to guide the offense into scoring range.
Starting at their own 40, Lock wasn’t able to find an open receiver on 3rd-and-4 and took off to pick up the first down with his feet. The next pass was a batted screen. On 3rd-and-7 from midfield, Lock looked to Spencer deep near the right sideline on an out-route. The pass fell incomplete with Surtain in tight coverage. A punt would have been the next play.
To end practice off, Lock was given the same task as Bridgewater. Starting at the 50, there was 40 seconds on the clock and the offense was down two. After taking off toward the sidelines for a two-yard gain on first down, Lock threw his second interception of the day.
With Trinity Benson breaking toward midfield on a slant, Rojesterman Farris, who was signed on Sunday, broke on the route and stepped in front of Benson for the interception. There could have been a miscommunication between Benson and Lock as it appeared the receiver had slowed down, but regardless, Farris was in a position to make the play. That was Lock’s final snap on the day.
Additionally, three times throughout practice, the offense had to essentially call timeout and huddle again. All three times were with Lock as the quarterback.
After practice, Graham Glasgow said a difference between the two quarterbacks is Bridgewater is “a little bit more thorough in the huddle.” It’s unfair to place the blame of those three plays on Lock without knowing the cause, but it was interesting timing with Graham’s admission. The veteran guard did add both quarterbacks command the huddle well.
It was only a matter of time until Lock threw his first interception of camp. However, the fact it didn’t come until the fifth practice of training camp is very encouraging, despite it being a down day for No. 3.
QB Play of the Day
On Monday, in individual plays, each quarterback displayed an aspect of their game that will help take them to the next level.
Teddy wasted no time going deep and stretching the field with his first play of the day, which was a perfect pass to Spencer.
On the other hand, working in the red zone, Lock showed his ability to go through his reads in a high-pressure situation.
If both quarterbacks build off those respective plays, the Broncos’ quarterback room will be better off as a whole.
After the fifth practice of camp, Fangio called the competition “even-steven” and said there’s still no separation between the two signal callers.
“Still no separation,” Fangio added.
After a clear-cut victory for Bridgewater on Monday, the DNVR Scoreboard reflects that perfectly.
Daily 10-point scale score: 7-3, Teddy Bridgewater
Collective 10-point scale score: 25-25