SANTA CLARA, CALIF. - More days like this, Paxton Lynch, and there might not never have been The Great Quarterback Competition.
“Very impressed,’’ said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. “His best day? I’m not sure. He made three or four big time throws today. He looked relaxed. Hopefully that carries over to Saturday.”
Lynch, the Broncos’ second-year quarterback, had one of his better practices here Thursday. It occurred while he mixed as much with the second-string offense as with the first, and it happened as he worked against the San Francisco 49ers’ defense in a joint practice on fields positioned just outside Levi’s Stadium, where the teams will play a preseason game Saturday night (8 p.m. MST kickoff, Channel 20).
Trevor Siemian wasn’t bad. The Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2016 didn’t make as many good throws as Lynch, but it may turn out this competition was never about Siemian.
It may be more about whether Lynch can make the jump to near his first-round potential.
Through most of the offseason and training camp, Siemian has been the more consistent quarterback.
Lynch, though, has had an encouraging week of practice. And it may happen just in time. The Broncos’ starting quarterback in preseason game No. 3 next week against Green Bay will almost certainly be their starting quarterback in the regular-season opener September 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Through it all, Broncos’ general manager John Elway has consistently said he’s pleased with his quarterback situation. He’s said this even though Tony Romo was entertaining playing for a team other than the Dallas Cowboys. Elway said this even though his quarterbacks had both struggled at times during the offseason and early part of training camp.
“I’ve got confidence in the fact that they’re both young and they’re going to continue with practice and getting better,’’ Elway said. “That’s why I had confidence in it. I think that looking at the guys that we have and them wanting to go and compete in practice, they don’t grow on trees. There are not quarterbacks grown on trees out there so there wasn’t another answer.
“So, with that being said, I like the guys that we have because I know talent-wise they can do it, it’s just a matter of they need the time and experience and with that they’ll continue to get better. Obviously, that position is very, very important. We’ve got better around them to give them better opportunities to be successful. There are still going to be growing pains. Whoever becomes the starter during this year, there’s still going to be growing pains because they’re both so young.”
In the preseason game Saturday against the 49ers, Lynch will start and play into the second quarter. Siemian will replace him roughly halfway through the second quarter and finish the third quarter. Kyle Sloter will play the fourth quarter.
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