ENGLEWOOD—Hey, coach. Over here. The No. 1 draft pick. Don’t forget about Paxton Lynch, coach.
“As a competitor you’re not just going to say I’ll take the back seat to this,’’ Lynch said Tuesday. “But it’s my job as a rookie to push those guys that are ahead of me however I can.”
When Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak last publicly spoke about his new team’s quarterback situation in the post-Peyton era, he indicated veteran Mark Sanchez and second-year passer Trevor Siemian were eye to eye.
And the rookie Lynch was third, primarily because the No. 26 overall draft selection from Memphis was well behind in such cerebral matters as an NFL playbook, reading defenses at a fast tempo and even with calling plays in a huddle – tougher than you think for a quarterback who was raised playing a no-huddle offense.
Kubiak delivered his oral depth chart back on June 14, before the team left for vacation. With Broncos’ rookies getting a two-day headstart on veterans prior to the start of training camp this week, Lynch understands he will need more time to pass up Sanchez and Siemian.
“I definitely think I have an opportunity to better myself and put myself up in that position to play right away or sooner than I thought,” Lynch said. “But I knew those guys would be ahead of me just because of their experience. And Trevor, his experience in the offense, and Mark, his experience in the league, and me being a rookie and this is the first time I’ve seen a playbook like that so I knew it was going to be tough and I knew I was going to be behind.
“But the biggest thing for me is to just staying confident in myself and keeping my head up and keep pushing through it and keep grinding and it will come to you eventually.’’
Lynch said he spent part of his 5-week break training in Orlando, where he threw passes to his brother, and there was a charity event in Memphis where he got to throw to his former college teammate Mose Frazier, who is now a Broncos’ undrafted rookie.
But there is both advantage and disadvantage for Lynch as the only quarterback in the Broncos’ unofficial 30-player rookie camp this week.
“It’s pretty tough from the standpoint of conditioning,’’ Lynch said. “Just because you’re taking every rep and you’re taking every drop back, every drill when it’s just individual stuff but in the long run it helps you obviously because you’re taking every rep and you’re getting that conditioning you normally wouldn’t when those other guys are out here.”
The vets report Wednesday. The first training camp practice is Thursday morning.