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John Elway: Drew Lock isn’t ready to play now

With the Broncos' Joe Flacco experiment failing, Mike Florio and Big Cat take a look John Elway's moves in the aftermath of the Peyton Manning era.

The Broncos aren’t ready to make a quarterback change, primarily because they don’t think they have an option that’s ready.

As tempting (and easy) as it would be to move on from Joe Flacco after a 2-5 start, there are a few practical realities preventing them from doing so.

Second-round pick Drew Lock is expected to start practicing again soon, in hopes of returning from the broken thumb that landed him on injured reserve. But they haven’t started the clock on him yet, perhaps because the boss isn’t sure he’s prepared to play anytime soon.

Via Nicki Jhabvala of, Broncos General Manager John Elway said during an interview on KOA that he’s still thinking about the future of Lock.

“I will say this: The most important thing for a young quarterback is not to put him out there before he’s ready,” Elway said. “So that is the most important thing and if he’s not ready, we’re not going to put him out there. That is the key thing. And as you know dealing with quarterbacks, it’s a very tough thing because if you don’t put him in a situation where he has a chance to be successful and he’s not successful, the whole roof will cave in. So we have to make sure that Drew is ready when he does get in there, if he does get in there.

“We’re still in the process of evaluating that. He is not ready to go right now, I will tell you that.”

Elway recalled his own experience, in which he was benched during his fifth game in 1983, only to get the job back four games later because of injury.

“Really the four games I was benched, I learned a hell of a lot more than in the four games I played just because it’s such a big step,” Elway said. “Then Steve DeBerg got hurt and it gave me a second chance that year, so I was able to come back and had a different viewpoint of it after I sat for those four games.

“So I think that’s why with young quarterbacks, it’s always good for them to see what it’s all about and the step that it takes instead of throwing them right into the fire, because very few of these guys have a lot of success early. They’re going to take their lumps. As I did and as most quarterbacks do, they’re going to take their lumps, and they have to be able to withstand that, and they got to be able to withstand the negative stuff that’s going to come with the part that he continues to get better.”

Of course, the atmosphere Elway created (they’re 2-5 and their best wide receiver just asked to be traded and was) is the negative one that might stunt Lock’s growth, which might make it best for Lock to wait.