ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Patience, people.
Pro Bowl receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders recently added their voices to the din of Broncos fans calling for a quick resolution to Denver’s quarterback quandary.
Yet, coach Vance Joseph made it clear Wednesday he’s in no hurry to choose between Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
“In my opinion, time allows for a fair competition, time allows for both guys to put their best foot forward and time allows for us to make a sound decision,” Joseph said as players reported for conditioning tests on the eve of training camp.
“So, to rush a decision without being sure makes no sense for anyone involved.”
Joseph acknowledged, however, that “it would be ideal” to have his starter declared by the time the Broncos face the Packers in their third preseason game a month from now.
Thomas and Sanders each said at their respective youth football camps in Denver this month that they’d prefer the starter being named quickly so they can find their rhythm well ahead of the season opener Sept. 11 against the Chargers.
“It does matter what the players think because it’s their football team,” Joseph said. “But, it’s my job and the staff’s job to find the best guy for the job.”
Joseph noted that most teams work in the backup QB with the starters during camp, “so it should not matter to the players outside of Paxton and Trevor.”
The QBs will start every other day but they’ll alternate drills daily so that they work with the front-line offense frequently.
“Someone’s going to show that they’re the best man for this team,” Joseph said. “And when (that happens) I’ll call it off.”
Joseph said the offense’s development won’t be stymied even if the QB competition drags on.
“That should not slow us down. In my opinion, it should help us play better once we find” the starter, Joseph said. “It’s going to help us play better. So, I am not concerned with the timeframe. I want the best guy for us. And again, it’s here. … It’s started. So, it’s weeks away. How many weeks? I’m not sure, but it’s weeks away.”
“The Decision” as it’s been dubbed in this quarterback-crazed city, will be a collaborative one between Joseph, his staff and his boss.
Joseph was once a quarterback as were offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, QB coach Bill Musgrave, O-line coach Jeff Davidson and, of course, general manager John Elway. So, too, was Gary Kubiak , who rejoined the team in a scouting role this week, seven months after stepping aside as head coach over health concerns.
“It’s going to be a group decision,” Joseph said. “We’ve got some minds to pick the right guy.”
Elway said he’s going to have daily conversations with Joseph, but “ultimately it’s Vance’s choice. I will give my opinion. But even though you may think there are a lot of differences of opinion, there’s really not. I believe the quarterback position is going to be seen by everyone. To me, it’s going to show up. That’s why as we get into training camp and get into games, we’ll see how they react.”
Joseph, a first-time head coach, was on Kubiak’s staff in Houston and said he’s thrilled to have Kubiak back as a resource: “Most of my coaching principles come from Coach Kubiak. So, for me, selfishly, to have him around and bounce things off him as a young head coach, I’m embracing that.”
Elway, whose title was modified to “president of football operations/general manager” when he signed his new five-year contract this week, re-hired Kubiak on Tuesday, this time as a senior personnel adviser.
Kubiak – who selected Siemian, a 2015 seventh-round pick, over veteran Mark Sanchez and 2016 first-rounder Lynch last summer – will work out of his Houston home and make frequent trips to Broncos headquarters to share his opinions on pro and college players.
Elway said that when Kubiak told him he needed to retire from coaching, “I talked to him about coming back in some kind of capacity. Gary is a very bright football man, and he can bring a lot to us. He’s a great evaluator. He’s a big bonus for us on the personnel side.”
NOTES: Hours after announcing they’d released G/T Allen Barbre on Wednesday, the Eagles traded the 10th-year pro to the Broncos for a conditional 2019 draft pick. Barbre started 28 games in his two seasons in Philadelphia.
By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
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