The competition is over. Trevor Siemian will be the Broncos starting quarterback Thursday night against the Panthers. Mark Sanchez was finally released to free up cap space, and Paxton Lynch was named the backup to Siemian.

But while the Broncos have an answer at starting quarterback, it’s certainly not a solution.

“All of the focus was on these young, first-round quarterbacks so the fact that a young quarterback is starting in Denver is not a big headline,” former NFL head coach Brian Billick told Nate Lundy and Shawn Drotar on Mile High Sports Radio. “The fact that it’s Trevor Siemian is, I think, that’s a bit of a shot. I followed Trevor Siemian in college, you watch him during preseason. I think this is a good, solid backup in the NFL. I’m not convinced he can be a starter in the NFL. I, personally, think he is a placeholder for Paxton Lynch.”

With weakness at the game’s most-important position, the Broncos will have to rely on other parts of their roster to win. The defense needs to mirror their performance from last season. And even with all of the weapons the Broncos have in the pass game, with guys like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, the run game needs to be the focus of the offense.

Last year, the Broncos proved the defense does win championships; now they need to prove that defense can win multiple championships.

“When you play great defense and Denver can run the ball, which to me is the biggest part of the equation,” Billick said, “you take that idea that we’re gonna play a young quarterback and play good defense and we are going to run the ball. If you are going win a championship like that, you are gonna have to play great defense like they did last year.  There is no reason to think they can’t.”

Siemian considered going into real estate before being drafted in the NFL in 2015. He played one down, which was kneel down, in his pro career. A year later, he is the starting quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.

To catch the whole conversation with Brian Billick, including his thoughts on the AFC West, click the podcast below…

Catch Nate Lundy and Shawn Drotar Monday-Friday from 7a-9a 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.