The parallels are easy to see, even if this isn’t quite the same situation. When the Broncos traded for veteran quarterback Joe Flacco and then drafted former Missouri star Drew Lock, it seemed Denver had a setup that resembled the Alex Smith-Patrick Mahomes partnership in Kansas City.
One difference: Smith was the established starter for the Chiefs when the team drafted Mahomes. Flacco, however, lost his starting job in Baltimore and is getting a fresh start in Denver, which then selected Lock, who grew up in Lee’s Summit.
Although Smith helped Mahomes navigate his first season in the NFL, Flacco made it clear Monday he wasn’t planning to mentor Lock. While talking with reporters, Flacco was asked if he will open himself up to the younger players.
Flacco said offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello would be doing that.
“I’m not a selfish person I don’t think,” Flacco told reporters. “There are times where you have to be selfish. But listen, Rich does such a good job in those meeting rooms. Drew is going to learn from listening to him talk and then all of us getting reps on the field and seeing how we all do it as a collective group and as a quarterback. Listen, I hope he does learn from me. Because that means we’re out there and we’re slinging it around and having a lot of fun. Because he’s going to learn by watching us do it and watching us do it well.
“That’s how he’s going to learn the timing and all those things, is to be able to see it on film and hear Rich talk about it with me and digest as much as possible. Like I said, I hope he does learn from me because that means we’re out there lighting it up.”
Flacco was then asked specifically if he would mentor Lock.
“You’ve got to be careful with how you answer that,” Flacco told reporters. “I think that is, like I sad, kind of Rich’s job. And it’s to be in the quarterback room and watch. And that’s how you can develop. Listen, I got so many things to worry about. I’m trying to go out there and play good football. I’m trying to go out there and play the best football of my life. As far as a time constraint, and all stuff, I’m not worried about developing guys or any of that. That is what it is. And like I said, I hope he does develop. But I don’t look at that as my job. My job is to go win football games for this football team.”
That’s not quite what happened in Kansas City. Mahomes has said multiple times that Smith was a great help.
“He’s an awesome guy and a true pro,” Mahomes told Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB last year. “He had a great season last year, and being the person he is, he always was helping me whenever I did something he thought he could help me improve on. That’s just the type of leader he is. We have a great relationship, still, going forward.”
Chiefs fans shared how thankful they were for Smith’s openness before he was traded to Washington. Here is a small sample: