Kyle Shanahan has come to know the Denver Broncos in a number of ways over the years.
His father, Mike, coached the Broncos for 14 years, and Kyle spent much of his youth growing up in and around the organization. Since 2004, he’s come to know them from the outside looking in, as a coach and coordinator for six different NFL teams. This week he got to know the 2017 Broncos a little more closely as his San Francisco 49ers hosted Denver for a pair of joint practices ahead of their Saturday preseason matchup.
Shanahan joined Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 on Thursday after the teams’ final joint practice and shared what he’s grown to know about Denver’s two young quarterbacks, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch. While he admitted that he hasn’t had time to watch Siemian and Lynch too closely, he has seen enough to give a positive outlook on them.
“I haven’t studied them too much; I’ve been trying to study a lot of other things,” Shanahan said, “but I know they’re two guys who are both capable of being successful in this league.”
As offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons last year, Shanahan was mostly focused on the Denver defense ahead of their Week 5 matchup in 2016. However, what he has seen of Siemian is consistent with most evaluations of the Northwestern product.
“I’ve seen Trevor more, just because he’s had more NFL tape, and he can make the throws. He’s tough enough to stay in the pocket,” Shanahan said.
Siemian’s greatest chance for improvement, Shanahan said, comes with time and better performances from his teammates.
“It’s about guys getting better as they go and guys playing around him better,” he said.
As for Lynch, his analysis is again consistent with others’ and again about getting the time needed to develop as an NFL quarterback.
“I think Lynch, after seeing him in college, everyone knows he can make plays with his legs. He’s got a strong enough arm to make any throw,” Shanahan said. “It’s really about reps, developing as a quarterback, how you do play in that pocket and then when the pocket’s not good, when stuff breaks down, can you not hesitate and turn into the athlete that you’ve been most of your life and make those plays.”
Overall, his prognosis for both quarterbacks is that with time they can develop into quality NFL players.
“I think they’re both still trying to find their game, but I definitely believe they both have an ability to do it,” he concluded.
Listen to the full interview with Kyle Shanahan, including how his dad is continuing to help him grow as a coach, in the podcast below.
Catch Afternoon Drive with Goodman and Shapiro every weekday from 4p-6p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup.