Through nearly two weeks of training camp, no clear leader has emerged in the Denver Broncos’ quarterback competition. How Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch perform over the next two weeks, specifically how they perform in games, will be a major determining factor in who wins the job.
“The games matter. The games start Thursday. I want to get to the games so we can get to the bottom of this,” Head Coach Vance Joseph said on Monday.
Despite that added pressure, neither quarterback is getting too worked up.
Joseph announced Monday that Siemian will get the start Thursday’s preseason game against the Chicago Bears, their first of the season. As he gets ready to run with the ones and bolster his chances of earning the starting job, Siemian says he’s not preparing any differently than he has in the past.
“I think [I’ll prepare for Thursday] just how I have, practice and playing games last year,” Siemian said on Tuesday. “Focus on my job, do my best to move the offense and get some points on the board.”
While most starters only play a series or two, if they play at all, during the first preseason game, Siemian and Lynch will each get extra time with the first- and second-team offense in the first two preseason games. Because neither has been named the starter yet, each is looking forward to doing different things in their extended playing time.
“I just look at it as I’m glad we’re not playing our guys,” Siemian said. “It’ll be good to play against a different group and hopefully both Paxton [and I] can find a little rhythm. It’ll be nice to play that long I guess.”
Lynch is focused on what the offense as a whole accomplishes while he’s on the field.
“The big thing for me is just moving the ball up and down the field when I’m in, executing the plays and not just worrying about myself doing good, but as an offense, working good as a group,” Lynch said on Tuesday.
Not starting Thursday’s game might rattle some players, but it isn’t rattling Lynch. He knows his shot is coming.
“You know that you’re going to go out there,” Lynch said of Thursday’s game. “Obviously, you’re not waiting three or four quarters to come in at the end of the game. You’re not sitting around that long and you don’t have to sit through halftime. I think it’s only a quarter or a quarter and a half before we switch out, so you don’t have to sit there and get stiffened up on the sideline.”
The fact that Joseph has already announced Lynch as the starter for the game against the 49ers helps too. According to Lynch, that’s a nice nugget to keep in the back of his mind. It also will give him a chance to work with the ones ahead of next week’s game.
“I think it’ll be good that I get that week to kind of work with the ones,” Lynch said. “You get that whole week to work with them so that in the game you’re not just thrown in with them and not working with them. I think it’ll be good for all of us to get that work.”
It’s fair to think that Thursday’s bright lights and a starting job being on the line may inspire either Siemian or Lynch to try to force big plays, but that’s not the case according to Lynch.
“No, I don’t see it that way,” Lynch said. “I don’t want to make it about me going out there making sure I play good and that’s all I’m worried about. I’m more worried about the offense going out there and succeeding as a group.”
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