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Peyton Manning Identifies 1 Major Key For Drew Lock

Peyton Manning in a press conference.

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MARCH 07: Quarterback Peyton Manning reacts as he announces his retirement from the NFL at the UCHealth Training Center on March 7, 2016 in Englewood, Colorado. Manning, who played for both the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos in a career which spanned 18 years, is the NFL's all-time leader in passing touchdowns (539), passing yards (71,940) and tied for regular season QB wins (186). Manning played his final game last month as the winning quarterback in Super Bowl 50 in which the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers, earning Manning his second Super Bowl title. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos have really struggled to figure out their quarterback situation ever since Peyton Manning retired. Although a long-term solution hasn't been found just yet, Manning is optimistic about the team's depth chart heading into this fall.

Manning reached out to Drew Lock this offseason to help him prepare for his third NFL season. After showing a lot of potential in his rookie campaign, the Missouri product really struggled to take care of the football in his second year with the Broncos.

In an effort to help out his former team, Manning set up some film studies with Lock this offseason. Only time will tell if that helped Lock's development, but the front office has to be somewhat optimistic.

Even though fans were disappointed by Lock's production in 2020, Manning believes the Broncos' willingness to keep their coaching staff together for at least one more season will allow the young quarterback to take a few strides this year.

"I don’t make excuses or defend Drew and he’s been very accountable in his comments and certainly knows what he needs to do and has a plan to do it,” Manning said, via theDenver Post. “But I will say the greatest benefit I had as a player was having the same offensive coordinator (Tom Moore) for my first 13 years. Tom Brady had the same offensive system for every year (in New England) and Tampa last year pretty much got it to his system (later) into the season.

“It makes a big difference when you have continuity. In Drew’s second year, he was already on his second coordinator and then you add in the COVID offseason. That’s tough for any quarterback. I can tell (during the meetings) that he was excited about getting into the facility, getting with Pat Shurmur and being on the same page because they didn’t get to that last year. They didn’t start meeting until August, which is insane.”

Last offseason was challenging for so many young players. Voluntary workouts and preseason games were canceled because of COVID-19.

Now, Lock will have a full offseason to really understand offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur's offense. He'll also have his best wide receiver back on the field.

Courtland Sutton announced last week that he plans on being a full go for training camp this July.

This will be a make-or-break year for Drew Lock, so a lot of pressure will be on him to succeed. Luckily for him, all the pieces are in place for him to be successful.