Drew Lock doesn't begrudge Joe Flacco for saying that winning games — not mentoring the rookie quarterback — is his top priority.
"I think if any quarterback's main goal isn't focused on winning games, first off, it's not the quarterback you want on your team," Lock told The Associated Press in a phone interview in mid-May.
Flacco, who was acquired from Baltimore in January, said he's too busy learning a new offense to concern himself with grooming his supposed successor, a stance that drew praise from general manager John Elway and coach Vic Fangio but criticism from the likes of Kurt Warner and other media members who viewed it as selfish.
"I feel like if it would have been like the exact opposite answer, people would have scrutinized him for not wanting to win football games first,'' Lock said. "It's such a double standard there with what people are making out of what he said.''
Lock said his budding relationship with Flacco has been great.
"Me and Joe talk out on the field, talk over things in the QB room. I mean, it's hard even to think about how couldn't I learn from the guy when we're in the same QB room every day and on the same field every day and I get to watch his reps, I get to hear the play calls he's running in my head through the helmet. I think it was just mainly him stating that, yeah, I do have a young quarterback underneath me right now but don't forget that I'm here to win football games.
"And he thinks that he can do that and so do I.''
Lock said he'll pepper his position coach and offensive coordinator with questions and "when I've asked Joe a question, it's not like he turns a cold shoulder and doesn't talk to me. He answers and we talk about things. So, I'm appreciative of what he's done.''
Lock said the brouhaha over Flacco's statement shows him firsthand what a quarterback town he's landed in, where both Peyton Manning and Elway cast long shadows.
"I knew heading into Denver, they're going to put a lot of pressure on the `Q' and if you're winning ballgames, you're The Man, and if you're losing, like any other program, there's something wrong and we need to figure something out,'' Lock said from Los Angeles, where he was signing a batch of Panini NFL trading cards at the NFLPA Rookie Premier. "But I think you can definitely leave a lifelong legacy in the city of Denver if you're a winning `Q' there. So, I think that's probably one of the cooler things about it.''
Lock, who was selected in the second round of the NFL draft last month, said that when he and fellow Broncos rookie Noah Fant arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, they were in a fender bender when the shuttle taking them from the airplane to the terminal struck a cart carrying luggage.
He said nobody was injured.
"Yeah, I've been hit way harder than that,'' Lock said. "So, it wasn't that big of a deal.''
Lock starred at Missouri, where he operated almost exclusively out of the shotgun. Elway said he must learn to line up under center to succeed in the NFL.
This is the second straight season that Flacco's had to deal with questions about a rookie quarterback.
In Baltimore last year, the Ravens selected Lamar Jackson late in the first round and Flacco lost his starting job to the unorthodox rookie after getting hurt in November.
A real Champ
The Broncos will induct longtime cornerback and new Hall of Fame member Champ Bailey into the team's Ring of Fame.
The ceremony will take place Oct. 13. It's been quite a memorable year for the 40-year-old Bailey, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 3.
Bailey played 10 seasons for the Broncos after being acquired in a trade with Washington. He started in 132 of 135 regular-season games for Denver and had 34 interceptions. He also led the team to five postseason appearances.
His 100-yard interception of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the AFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 14, 2006, ranks as the longest in Broncos playoff history.
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