No matter what they say about Trevor Siemian on talk radio or social media, the kid has guts.
Problem is, when a quarterback isn’t all that large by NFL standards, guts can lead to pain.
After Siemian was hit 17 times Sunday against the New Orleans Saints – and taking anywhere from eight to 12 vicious shots – is there a way to develop a knack for not taking on hits at such full force? There were times when Siemian was walloped, pulverized, tossed and hit late out of bounds.
“I don’t know if there’s a knack,’’ Siemian said. “I probably got hit too many times. A lot of that is on me. But I’m no different than anybody else – whatever it takes and very, very lucky and happy to get the win down there.’’
Behind Siemian’s two touchdown passes, 11 of 13 completions on third downs and 258 yards passing, the Broncos defeated the Saints, 25-23.
Siemian was also sacked six times. So let’s get this straight. He’s the one taking the shots, and it’s his fault?
“One time last week I was too deep (in the pocket),’’ he said. “It’s hard enough for our tackles to block those guys. They’re (opposing pass rushers) on scholarship, too. When you get that deep in the pocket it’s too tough on those guys. For a lack of a better word I’m kind of screwing them over. There’s some of that and you’ve got to get rid of the ball on time, sometimes. I’m still getting the feel for that.’’
On Monday, Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak declared Siemian would have been unable to play if there was a game that day.
Siemian had his injured left shoulder injected on Monday and he wasn’t able to practice Tuesday, either. First-round rookie Paxton Lynch ran the first-team offense in practice Tuesday , although the first team was filled with second teamers as Kubiak gave his busiest vets some down time.
Ordinarily, Siemian gets the shot a day or two before a game since he suffered a sprain to his left shoulder joint in game 4 at Tampa Bay.
He said he “won’t be doing much bench press” during the bye week, but Siemian will be ready to play in the Broncos’ next game, Sunday night, Nov. 27 against the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC West game at soon-to-be-renamed Sports Authority Field at Mile High that will be televised on 9News.
“That’s the thinking,’’ Siemian said. “This will be a good week for me, not just me but everybody truthfully to get healthy, get a breather mentally and come back ready to roll.’’
Before taking off for his bye-week, mini vacation Tuesday evening, Siemian sat down with 9News to discuss what he and the Broncos have done while posting a 7-3 record through 10 games, and what they must do in the final six games. The TV version of the interview can be seen on Broncos Tonight Special Edition at 6 p.m. Saturday on 9News.
“It’s gone well,’’ he said. “Obviously, ups and downs. I’m still learning. Still growing. But the one thing is I’ve had a heckuva lot of fun. It’s been a blast the whole way through. Riding the rollercoaster, winning games, losing some, bouncing back. And being part of our locker room is pretty special. I’m having a blast.’’
Siemian threw two picks in the middle of the Saints’ game. They served as an in-game turning point with the Broncos going from up, 10-0 to down, 17-10.
Yet, what’s been impressive about Siemian is his ability to not dwell on his mistakes, to get it back together just as it appears he and the team may be spiraling.
“You throw a pick and the game doesn’t end, right?’’ he said. “You’ve got 40 minutes of football or 30 minutes whatever it is. Really that’s kind of ingrained in you early on regardless of if you threw a touchdown the play before or you threw a pick, whatever it may be: What’s the next play? What do I have to do to put our team in position to win the game?
“You’re always kind of thinking forward. And you don’t want the second pick to turn into a third pick or a fourth pick because that can happen really easily, too.’’
Although a case can be made that anyone expecting more from Siemian through nine starts is overexpecting, so be it. That’s not going to stop this town that is known for being tough on its quarterbacks from wanting Siemian to play better.
“As a quarterback and any position you have such a good compass and gauge on what you’re doing and what you think is good enough for yourself,’’ Siemian said. “Like everybody else in the building, I’m pretty tough on myself. I might be doing good, or it may seem to people I’m doing good and I really think I’m not doing so well.
“It goes back and forth. But I think our coaches and our locker room does a really good job of blocking out the noise.’’
Some would say the other side of the Broncos’ bye week is a daunting, six-week schedule. And it is. But there’s another way to look at it: They trail the Chiefs and they play them twice. They trail the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders and they play them each once.
If the Broncos want to repeat as Super Bowl champs, it would behoove them to not the play AFC Championship Game in Foxborough.
The defense of their Super Bowl, thus, begins with the Broncos taking care of business in these final six games.
“I think it’s exciting,’’ Siemian said. “We’re chomping at the bit to get this opportunity. We’re in control of our own destiny. That’s the cool thing. We’ll take this bye week and I know everybody is already fired up to get back to work and get ready for Kansas City but our fate is in our hands and you can’t ask for anything more at this point.’’