STACY ROST

Drew Lock’s QB coach answers key questions about new Seahawks QB

Apr 1, 2022, 11:29 AM
Seahawks Drew Lock...
Drew Lock warms up before an August 2021 preseason game between the Seahawks and Broncos. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

It’s not just that Seahawks fans aren’t sure who the starting quarterback will in Week 1 next season. It’s that if that starter ends up being Drew Lock, who Seattle acquired in the Russell Wilson trade, there’s plenty still left unanswered given his brief and inconsistent career in Denver.

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What is clear, at least as much as it can be in an open quarterback battle, is that Seahawks general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll view Lock as a true competitor for that starting role.

So, let’s get a few of those questions out of the way with insight from Lock’s personal quarterback coach, Justin Hoover, who joined us Thursday on Seattle Sports’ Jake and Stacy.

Where is Drew Lock mentally after the trade to the Seahawks?

Lock was a second-round pick who, after a brief but solid debut in 2019, had a disappointing 2020 season. He finished with a 4-9 record, completing 57% of his pass attempts and throwing 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions, the latter of which tied for most in the NFL. The following season, Lock lost a training camp battle to Teddy Bridgewater, who was named the Broncos’ Week 1 starter.

Hoover believes a change of scenery – and a second chance – is a good thing for Lock.

“I think he’s fired up for a little change of scenery, a different environment,” Hoover said. “I think the energy and competitiveness that coach Carroll brings to the table will connect and relate well to Drew’s personality. So I think this can be a great relationship, and I think in the last three weeks, Drew’s had an opportunity to slow down and process everything and kind of hit the reset button. I just saw him last week and I think he’s kind of rejuvenated and feels great mentally and physically. I think you’re going to get the best version of Drew Lock moving forward.”

What does the best version of Lock look like?

We certainly saw it at Missouri, particularly in 2017 when Lock led the nation in touchdown passes. We’ve seen it at times in the NFL, too, like the four-touchdown performance he had against the Carolina Panthers in 2020 or the handful of games he played in 2019 (one of those highlights below).

“Things that stick out to me: you’re going to get a passionate player, a guy with great energy,” Hoover said.

“That’s part of what I love about this move for him… I think you’re getting a motivated player. You’re going to get a great teammate, which is something I think isn’t talked about enough about Drew, is the type of teammate that he is. We’ve seen talent from him and we’ve seen it in spurts so far in the NFL.”

Hoover pointed to something that has lacked consistency for Lock that could be a factor in his up and down NFL career thus far.

“One of the things I think of is… you’re talking about his fifth offensive coordinator in six years, going back to his last two years at Missouri. Not making excuses, nor would he, and nor is that completely foreign to quarterbacks coming from college to the NFL where changes are happening. But there are some things that have to happen from the consistency standpoint for a quarterback to play at the highest level.”

What does Lock need to do to be a more surefire starter?

Lock might have the potential, but now in his fourth year, he has yet to solidify himself as a starter. He’ll get another shot to do so in Seattle but will need to cut down on costly turnovers in a more conservative Seahawks offense.

Hoover believes part of that change is a mental game.

“I think for Drew, he needs to get back to his competitive way and his competitive temperament,” Hoover said. “I always think of him, all the way back to when I met him as a high school player, (he was) hyper-competitive. I think he needs to get back to that.

“There were times early in his career in the NFL – there’s the video of him rapping on the sideline – where (the critique is) it’s too much, he’s not focused enough. And then people are complaining that he’s turned into a robot. So, what I think really has to happen is he has to be himself. He’s good enough to be a starter in this league and he knows that. He really respects this game and loves this game. For him, the respect of the game and recognizing the best version of himself… he just needs to get back to that point kind of between the ears, as a confidence part.”

According to Hoover, Lock just needs to get back to a point where he’s able to trust in his own ability.

“His natural ability is good enough and I think he’s got to trust that part of it. And that was something I really saw last week when we were together, is just how much trust again he really has in his arm and understanding what he’s trying to get done. So, I think that’s for him just getting back to being himself.”

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