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How to pick starting QB? OC Pat Shurmur explains the thinking

Bridgewater better than Lock on second day of minicamp
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Posted at 5:48 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 20:05:51-04

ENGLEWOOD -- Teddy remains steady.

Teddy Bridgewater is not an asteroid, plummeting toward the earth with equal parts excitement and fear. He is calmer than a lagoon, his main purpose to keep the football from hitting the ground.

In record-shattering heat Wednesday, Bridgewater completed 67 percent of his passes, tossed a touchdown to rising second-year player Jerry Jeudy and scampered inside the far pylon for a score. On day two of minicamp, Bridgewater recorded, by my analysis, his third win in five media viewing sessions this offseason. One practice was a push and Drew Lock outperformed Bridgewater on Tuesday.

How to pick starting QB? OC Pat Shurmur explains the thinking

The Broncos finish camp Wednesday -- no Field Day details have leaked out if there is one -- with the QB competition showing promise, but no expiration date. This battle is headed to training camp, where those practices weigh more like midterms and finals in this exam, compared to the recent pop quizzes.

I asked offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur about the derby, and the decision process with modern sports defined by sterile analytics and cold-hearted numbers.

"Well, there's the hard data -- you want more completions, you want less interceptions, touchdown passes. All the hard data. But, I am kind of looking at it generally, too. When this guy's is in there are less bad things happening?" Shurmur, in his second season as the Broncos offensive boss, explained. "When he makes a mistake is it catastrophic or is something we can correct? It's all the things that you look at. It's why it's important that you practice. It is a coordinated effort that really goes through the eyes of the quarterback, and a lot of times, how he executes can help the rest of the team play better. There's obviously the objective and subjective stuff we look at."

For now, the battle between Teddy Two Gloves and Drew One Sleeve exists in Twitter threads, revealing information, hints, but nothing of substance in this stage. While deciding on a starter in training camp is fraught with danger, there has been a positive internally.

The quarterbacks continue to show maturity and respect as training camp looms. Bridgewater has lived up to expectations as a leader, a veteran and a student of the game. And Lock, after adopting a new diet, workout and film routine this offseason, has improved, fully embracing the responsibilities of a position that turns quarterbacks into CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

"They have been good. I have spent some time in their meetings. I obviously see them on the field. I am back there all the time. Everything is functioning very well," Fangio said. "There's no animosity, there's a competitive good spirit but nothing negative. I don't see any problems with that as of yet."

Hey Jeudy
Jerry Jeudy missed part of Tuesday's practice with an illness. Wednesday he returned to making defensive backs sick to their stomachs. Jeudy hauled in a touchdown pass from Bridgewater and provided a celebration. He has not had a drop during the media's five brief viewing periods this offseason. Disappointed by his missteps -- in what was still the second best season by Broncos rookie receiver in terms of receptions and yards -- Jeudy went to work on his fundamentals and improving his concentration. It has paid off with a strong practices.

Jeudy has also impressed teammates with his feet.

"You all know he can dance," Bridgewater said.

In one video posted, Jeudy used a towel as part of his routine, his head appearing to slide along the crease like a magic trick.

"You saw that, huh?" Jeudy asked me. "I just made that up on the spot."

Bolles reveals son's speech disorder
Left tackle Garett Bolles became emotional when revealing that his 4-year-old son Kingston was recently diagnosed with apraxia, a motor speech disorder that makes it hard to speak. Bolles missed a few OTA practices as Kingston met with a specialist.

"From now until he’s seven years old, he’ll go into intensive speech therapy to help him. By the grace of God, when I signed my contract here, I found out truly why I’m in Denver. That’s because my son and this wonderful speech lady that’s at the top of apraxia of speech here in Castle Rock. What a blessing that’s been for us. He’s in speech right now for the next four days. I’m just trying to help him as much as I can. When we come back, he’ll hit a full go with her in August," Bolles said.

"I’m going to do whatever I can to raise as much awareness as I can. The decision is definitely for my son. I love him dearly. He’s probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me besides my wife and my little girl. I’m thankful for the challenges. The challenges just make us a bigger family. I know the Broncos have done a phenomenal job of letting me be there with him the last couple weeks and just going through a new thing that we have to do. A lot of changes in our house in how we speak and how we talk. We’re going through it with him, too. It’s just a great honor for me that I get to play football and having my contract with this great organization to be there with me. I’m just very thankful for everything that goes on. I know the Lord has a great hand in it."

New cornerback Ronald Darby arrived in Denver with lofty expectations. Practices have only reinforced his belief. "We could definitely be the best defense, if not the top two or three," Darby said. "We've got the pass rush, we've got people who know what they are doing, we've got the communication." ...

Fangio has not determined if he will rest his starters in the third and final preseason game. He is promising that the quarterbacks will "somehow, someway" get a 50-50 split in the reps in camp and games. ...

Free agent punter Max Duffy has turned heads with his directional kicking.