Questions entering Friday’s first training camp practice – The Denver Post

A day before they were scheduled to open the preseason against San Francisco, the Broncos will finally have their first training camp practice on Friday.

Since ending last season with a win over the Raiders to finish 7-9, the Broncos have hired a new offensive coordinator (Pat Shurmur), signed or traded for cornerback A.J. Bouye, defensive end Jurrell Casey, right guard Graham Glasgow and punter Sam Martin, and drafted center Lloyd Cushenberry and receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, among others.

In this roundtable, beat writers Ryan O’Halloran and Kyle Newman and columnist Mark Kiszla weigh in on six questions:

1. This camp and this season is all about quarterback Drew Lock. A) What should give fans confidence No. 3 can be the guy? B) What does the next step look like for Lock?

Kyle: There’s a certain swagger necessary to handle the expectations that come with being the Broncos’ quarterback, and through his 4-1 start last season, Lock appears to have that moxie. Whether the momentum from “Drewcember” carries over to a full 16-game slate is another question, but he shows promise. The next step for Lock is to rise to those high expectations — and if he somehow can’t lead the Broncos back to the playoffs, he can’t be a major reason they didn’t get there.

Kiz: Playing quarterback for the Broncos can be the best job in town. Ask John Elway or Peyton Manning, who will be adored forever in Denver. But if you struggle as the Broncos’ quarterback, it’s among the worst jobs in town, as Joe Flacco and Paxton Lynch know all too well. Yes, “Drewcember” was a blast, for Broncos Country and Lock alike. But the next step for Lock will be the real test of his swagger and poise. How will Lock react when he throws multiple picks in back-to-back losses, the honeymoon is over and everyone from the media to fans begin to grumble?

Ryan: Broncos fans should be confident in Lock for as much as who he is (a confident, athletic passer) as who he isn’t (Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Joe Flacco and Case Keenum). Seriously, the biggest reason why Lock can have success is he is fearless — he’s going to throw into the tight windows on third down or get seven yards by scrambling, traits that will benefit the offense.

2. Coach Vic Fangio is back for a second year. What is Uncle Vic’s biggest challenge heading into the Sept. 14 opener?

Kyle: After instability on the offensive line clearly agitated Fangio last year, I’m afraid he’ll have to deal with more uncertainty this season. The Broncos’ choice to pass on a tackle high in the draft, coupled with Ja’Wuan James’ decision to opt out due to coronavirus concerns means Garett Bolles is the projected starter at left tackle and Elijah Wilkinson is the projected starter at right tackle. That’s a lot of faith in those two still-unproven players to protect Lock.

Kiz: Trust. Do the Broncos in the locker room really believe Uncle Vic has their back and also has the right schemes to get this team back to the playoffs? I think players respect Fangio. But like him? I’m not so certain. I know what you’re thinking: What does liking a coach have to do with anything in a league where grumpy Bill Belichick is the gold standard for success? Well, before Belichick won all those rings in New England, he was fired in Cleveland. Fangio still has significant work to do in order to establish the complete buy-in any coach needs to thrive, or even survive, in the Not For Long.