ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The steady ones usually win these things.
Trevor Siemian beat out the mistake-prone if far more experienced Mark Sanchez and first-round talent Paxton Lynch in 2016.
Even the then Mastermind, Mike Shanahan, surprisingly chose the conservative-throwing Brian Griese over the more exciting, if turnover-riddled Bubby Brister in 1999.
Not that history always repeats itself.
Front and center of the Broncos’ 2021 training camp that begins with the first public practice Wednesday morning is the quarterback competition between the young incumbent Drew Lock and veteran newcomer Teddy Bridgewater.
It leads to the final, and most important, inquiry in our 9NEWS series of 9 questions confronting the Broncos during camp and the preseason:
1. Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater? (Or another quarterback from Green Bay?)
Issue: The Broncos brought in Bridgewater, who is known for his steady if conservative play, after Lock tied for the league-lead with 15 interceptions last year while ranking last with a 57.3 completion percentage.
A day after acquiring Bridgewater from Carolina, the Broncos learned three-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay. After making a quick call to the Packers prior to the first round of the NFL Draft, the Broncos were told by the Packers they were not trading Rodgers.So it’s back to Lock vs. Bridgewater for the Broncos until further notice.
Background: In the first year after Elway in 1999, Brister was expected to be the Broncos’ starting quarterback after he led the team to five wins in five games in 1998. But after evaluating the preseason, Shanahan went with the younger Griese because Brister struggled, throwing three interceptions with zero touchdown passes, while Griese threw six TDs against just one pick. It was a fair decision, but it backfired as the two-time defending Super Bowl champs started 0-4.
In 2016, Siemian was the underdog as a late, 7th-round draft pick, but he moved the team better during camp and the preseason, while the veteran Sanchez made mistakes and Lynch showed he wasn’t ready to process coverages and receiving options in a timely manner. Siemian led the Broncos to a 9-7 record in 2016, their last winning season.
This year, the Broncos brought in Bridgewater, who is known for his steady if conservative play, after Lock tied for the league-lead with 15 interceptions last year while also ranking last with a 57.3 completion percentage.
Resolution: When it’s finished, the Broncos’ season-opener starter Sept. 12 at the New York Giants may not be the quarterback who wins the camp and preseason competition but the guy who doesn’t lose it.
Bridgewater made fewer mistakes than Lock during the media-viewing OTAs and minicamp sessions, but coach Vic Fangio said 97 percent of the competition would be decided during camp and preseason.
Each quarterback is expected to start one preseason game – one at Minnesota, the other at Seattle – before the decision is made. By then, will Green Bay surrender and put Rodgers on the trade market?
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