Rost: Fresh start for QB Drew Lock could fit right into Seahawks’ plans
New Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock is ready for a fresh start.
It was a message he made clear throughout his first press conference as a Seahawk on Monday. He didn’t dodge questions about his tumultuous three-year tenure with the Denver Broncos and took accountability for his poor play, though he also mentioned the switch in offensive coordinators and the difficulty of learning a new offense virtually after his rookie season.
He talked about watching Russell Wilson’s legacy in Seattle and how he opted to switch from the No. 3 he wore with Denver to No. 2 as a show of respect. Switching numbers also gives him a chance to write his own story in Seattle.
This wasn’t someone talking out of both sides of his mouth; rather, this is a young quarterback who appears to simultaneously recognize the mistakes of his past while heading into his second chance with full faith in himself.
“I will never make excuses for my play,” Lock told reporters when asked about his time as a Bronco. “I could’ve played a lot better in the seasons I was playing there… As far as what I feel like I can do (differently), I’m just going to have the mindset of competing the whole time I’m here. I’m gonna come in, I’m gonna work hard, gonna work harder than anyone else in this building, and I’m gonna show it to these guys to try to gain their trust. Show them that I’m here to work and if you put a little faith in me, I have a very talented skillset that’ll help us win football games.”
That skillset, at its best, helped Lock lead the nation in passing touchdowns at Missouri in 2017 (44). That monster 2017 season also saw him lead the SEC in passing efficiency, passing yards, and passing yards per game. He finished his career third in SEC history in career passing touchdowns (99) and second in career passing yards (12,193).
Whether it was due to hand size or accuracy concerns, Lock slipped into the second round of the draft in 2019, where the Broncos traded up to select him at No. 42 overall.
Lock struggled to translate his collegiate success to the pros. He had a solid, though abbreviated, rookie season, then played most extensively in 2020 (13 starts) when he finished 4-9, completing 57% of his pass attempts and throwing 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions.
With the Seahawks, the 25-year-old Lock doesn’t have to be his predecessor. He just needs to avoid the turnovers that cost him in Denver, which would be the death knell in Pete Carroll’s offense, which would appear to crave a careful, efficient quarterback in its first year post-Wilson.
Seattle’s freshly vacant starting gig is not, pardon the pun, a lock for Drew, however.
There’s the No. 9 overall pick Seattle acquired as part of that same trade that presents a tempting opportunity to select one of this year’s rookie quarterbacks, though it’s not a particularly celebrated class. There’s also at least one veteran starter available via trade. With the Browns’ acquisition of ex-Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield is looking for a new home and his own second chance. That might’ve been in Indianapolis had the Colts not recently traded for Matt Ryan. And, of course, there’s former Seahawks backup Geno Smith, who not only remains available in free agency but was brought up by Carroll himself Tuesday in an interview with Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Mike Salk Show.
The Seahawks will explore their options, but they’re higher on Lock than the media at large.
“We have a ton of faith in Drew,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said last week in a press conference. “We’re excited about the change of scenery for him. I know a couple of my buddies who were trying to acquire him all last spring and into the fall. So, he’s a guy who, you know, in my opinion the media’s beat down a little bit.”
A positive sign is that Lock seems confident he will be comfortable working under second-year Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. He told reporters it’s similar to the one he ran his rookie season.
“The true definition of a fresh start,” Lock said. “Everything is new. You get to make a new identity for everything. You get to come in and show these people how hard you want to work, how bad you want it, how badly you want to win football games… A fresh start for me is really, really exciting.”