Trevor Siemian has the one trait the Broncos starting quarterback needs

It’s well known that the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl last year with below average quarterback statistics throughout the entire year. However, what is lost in the numbers more often than not is how Peyton Manning stepped up when it mattered the most, late in the fourth quarter, continuously putting the Broncos in a position to win. Even when his body wasn’t at its best, Manning’s steadfast leadership under pressure delivered.

On Monday morning the Broncos quarterback competition came to an end when the Broncos announced that Trevor Siemian would start the Week 1 Super Bowl rematch against the Carolina Panthers. On Monday afternoon, when the Broncos first spoke to the media after the news broke, one trait of Siemian’s became very clear — pressure doesn’t faze him.

“Trevor is calm, cool and collected,” wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said on Monday after practice. “He was going through a lot of pressure situations, even going through training camp. He came in the locker room the next day still joking and laughing and he’s still calm, cool and collected.”

Sanders couldn’t stop using the phrase “calm, cool and collected” when talking about Siemian on Monday, pointing to the fact that Siemian never lets the moment get too big for him. Even after being named the starting quarterback of the Super Bowl champions, Siemian remained very even-keeled.

“It was pretty exciting, no doubt, but at the same point we have our younger guys playing this week against Arizona and they are getting ready for that. Then we have a big game against Carolina, so that’s where our focus is going forward,” Siemian said on Monday.

When asked about how he can be so calm at such an exciting time in his life, Siemian pointed to the task at hand on opening night, Sept. 8.

“There’s a lot going on our there, we have a pretty good group offensively, just focusing on the task at hand,” Siemian said. “Honestly, I haven’t changed my mindset too much. I’m thinking about Carolina.”

According to Sanders, this isn’t just an act that Siemian puts on in front of the media; he is like this even on the field. When asked what Siemian’s best quality is, Sanders pointed to his demeanor.

“His calm demeanor, he’s very cool even when he comes into the huddle; he’s always the same guy,” Sanders said. “I remember when he first came in. I said, ‘Man, you remind me of Aaron Rodgers and the way that he goes about his business and always having fun and the way he slings the football around.’”

After comparing Siemian to Aaron Rodgers, Sanders said that Siemian could have learned some of his poise from the quarterback that he backed up last season.

“Once you have an opportunity to play behind Peyton Manning you kind of understand the quarterback position and what it takes. He has a very calm cool demeanor, I can’t say enough about it,” Sanders said.

While there is no doubt that Siemian has as strong an arm as there is in the NFL, the truth is that he has only taken one snap in the regular season — a kneel down before halftime in a Week 15 loss at Pittsburgh. A major concern about a player, especially a quarterback, with limited playing experience is how will they play under pressure. According to Sanders, this isn’t something to worry about with Siemian.

“Even when he comes into the huddle, Miley Cyrus can be playing and it can be third-and-five and Trevor can be singing a song while he comes in the huddle. He keeps everyone calm,” Sanders said. “The National Football League is a pressure situation, we are always put under pressure, so once you have the main leader of the offense always calm and cool, the offense will be the same.”

Although there are still many unknowns about the Broncos newest starting quarterback, Broncos players aren’t concerned with his ability to handle the big stage and pressure situations. That begins with handling the comparisons to his predecessor.

“I’m not trying to be Peyton,” Siemian said. “I could probably get into a lot of trouble trying to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Those shoes are way too big to fill and I’m just trying to be the best me that I can be every day, the best teammate and take it from there.”

If the Broncos follow a similar model as last year – great defense and an offense that does enough to win – then the biggest task for Siemian will be stepping up when it matters the most, something Sanders is very confident his new quarterback can do.

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