After Tuesday’s practice Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak gave most of Broncos Country exactly what they wanted: hope about Paxton Lynch becoming the Broncos starting quarterback.
However, just moments later, Kubiak reminded all of the Paxton hopefuls that Lynch is still very much a rookie, with a significant learning curve ahead of him.
When asked how fast of a track Lynch was on, Kubiak said, “as fast as we can get it.” Then, Kubiak described how long and not straightforward that track will be.
“We want to make up as much ground as we possibly can,” Kubiak said. “I’ve been pleased with the progress he’s made. There’s been times where I’m saying, ‘Boy, this is really coming real fast,’ and then all of a sudden he’ll remind me two days later, ‘no I’m not, not yet.'”
This back and forth progression should come as no surprise to anyone. After all, Lynch is a very talented rookie, but right now, the emphasis is on rookie, not talented.
The quarterback position is potentially the most difficult position in all of sports, and certainly the one with the biggest learning curve.
“(Lynch’s progression has) been really, really good, and there has been steps at times where he takes a step back, and we need to catch back up, but hopefully we continue to work,” Kubiak said. “We’re going to have to find ways throughout the course (of the year) to actually do a lot more extra with him than say you would some other guys you’re working with.”
Along with additional work and extra reps for Lynch during the year, Kubiak sees the scout team as a great place for Lynch to continue improving and becoming acclimated to the NFL.
“(The scout team) makes you play fast,” Kubiak said. “That will definitely help Paxton.”
Another area where Lynch will see an increased workload is in the final preseason game on Thursday night.
“We just want to see Paxton play the whole game. He needs every damn snap that he can get,” Kubiak said. “Go out there and see an NFL defense and run the huddle and do all of those things. So, hopefully there is about 60 or 70 plays to evaluate where he is through Thursday night.”
Instead of Kubiak asking Lynch to do complicated things in Thursday’s game, like picking up blitzes and making the correct reads, Kubiak is just asking Lynch to go get some experience on an NFL football field. If Lynch were actually close to taking over the Broncos starting quarterback position, Kubiak would be asking more out of him than just the basic tasks that he did. For Thursday’s game, Kubiak just wants to see progress.
“I thought he can handle this group a little better than last week, so he’s going to play with the same guys as last week,” Kubiak said. “It’s not going to be very complicated, play a little faster and see him take another step.”
When asked specifically about how Lynch was doing under center, Kubiak’s response summed up exactly where Lynch’s progression is right now — in progress.
“We got to work on everything, but I think he’s done okay (working under center),” Kubiak said. “It’s something for him to get used to, a little different.”
While Broncos Country, including the Broncos organization, would love to see their talented first-round pick on the field sooner rather than later, coach Kubiak reminded everyone that the best thing for the Broncos to do is not rush Lynch’s progression, even though it may be the most difficult thing to do.