ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (The Sports Xchange) – Trevor Siemian was the first quarterback under center when the Denver Broncos began their team-period work at their first OTA on Tuesday morning.
But that doesn’t mean anything in his competition with 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch.
Lynch will be the first quarterback up Wednesday. And Siemian will be the first quarterback to take snaps Thursday. That’s just how Broncos head coach Vance Joseph wants it, as the two are expected to divide first-team work on a 50-50 basis throughout OTAs and into training camp.
It’s clear what Joseph wants to see from his two young passers.
“Decision-making, accuracy, command of the huddle, consistency — that’s always key with quarterback play,” Joseph said just after Tuesday’s OTA concluded. “So far, so good. It’s the first day. Both guys were engaged. So it was a good day.”
Siemian looked smooth and composed, settling into coordinator Mike McCoy’s new scheme. He forced few throws, and made quick reads, completing a variety of short to intermediate passes that are expected to be staples of the offense.
“It’s different all across the board: the run game, drop-backs, managing protections,” Siemian said. “It’s totally different. We’re all getting used to it, but I think a lot of guys are excited about what we’re doing, and some guys have experience coming from a few years back, so that’s always good too.
“At the end of the day, it’s 11-on-11, right? There’s a lot of carryover, but it’s pretty different from what we were doing.”
Lynch struggled early during Tuesday’s work. His first pass was nearly intercepted by safety Justin Simmons. His third pass, in a seven-on-seven period, was picked off linebacker by Brandon Marshall, who dived down to the ground to grab the pass. But eventually he found a groove, and stretched the field with a completion to backup tight end Steven Scheu.
The scheme is “pretty different,” Lynch said, but he feels it suits him better.
“I feel like it fits more of how I play,” Lynch said. “I’m more comfortable in it and there is a little bit more similarities to what I did at Memphis compared to what I had to do last year.”
The scheme suits Lynch. But it also appears to suit Siemian, and with his 14 games of starting experience from last year, he could have an edge.
Time will tell, however. Joseph has said multiple times that he wants the competition to extend well into training camp. Siemian looked sharper out of the gates, but Tuesday’s work was just a beginning, and nothing more.