Do play well – really well – in the preseason game Saturday night against the San Francisco 49ers and you may be pronounced as the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback for the 2017 regular season.
Do not play well – or perform somewhere within the average range – and the starting job will likely remain with the incumbent Trevor Siemian.
Do or die, Paxton.
“Yeah, I’m excited,’’ Lynch said in a sit-down interview with 9News this week. “Last week, the second guys got to go in after Trevor had a couple drives. I think I went in late-second quarter so I’ll be excited to go out there and get warmed up and be able to go in right away and play with those guys and move the ball and score some points.’’
The consensus among those who have watched training camp but aren’t allowed past the press premises at UCHealth Training Center is that Siemian has been leading the quarterback competition.
However, Broncos head coach Vance Joseph has indicated the media’s opinion won’t affect his decision on who his starting quarterback will be September 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Is Lynch aware the outside buzz has Siemian in the lead?
“I don’t know,’’ he said. “I don’t know what everybody says and what’s going on in the media, and who says this in the media.
I just listen to what the coaches tell me and coaches tell me to just keep doing what I’m doing and I’m on the right track.
So I’m just focused on getting better day in and day out and making the guys around me better.’’
The Broncos are giving Lynch one more great chance. He will start with the other first stringers like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders against the 49ers on Saturday night at Levi’s Stadium.
Siemian will enter the game halfway through the second quarter and play with the second-stringers through the third quarter.
First-game hero and undrafted rookie Kyle Sloter will come in for his encore in the fourth.
Joseph has not committed to a date, but a final decision on the starting quarterback is expected early next week so he can play with the first team for the third preseason game against Green Bay.
The third preseason game is the most important of the four in terms of getting the varsity ready to play the regular season opener. Starters do not play in preseason game 4.
If Broncos fans are tired of hearing about the quarterback competition, Lynch says they’re not alone.
“Yeah, I know some of the guys are getting a little tired of hearing about it, getting asked about it,’’ he said of his teammates.
“I think they’re excited to figure out who it’s going to be and move on from that point.’’
It’s easy to say, not so practical to do, but Lynch might be helped if he somehow treats the preseason game against the 49ers like he did with his buddies in his Florida backyard.
Stop thinking and let it rip.
Focusing on steps, drops, hot reads and progressions can take all the fun out of it.
“I know it’s difficult to go out there and just relax and cut it loose and have fun but at the end of the day that’s what football’s about,’’ he said. “You started playing as a kid because you loved it and you’re playing it for that reason now.
“Everything just kind of changes, every level you go to, the better the competition gets, the better you’ve got to get.’’