KUSA—Trevor Siemian won the starting job. He played well enough to keep it.
The Denver Broncos nevertheless are going to give Paxton Lynch a chance to take it.
Lynch understands he can become the Broncos’ starting quarterback in 2017. He also knows he will have to earn it.
“I’m going to work my tail off and give myself the opportunity to go play right away and I know Trevor is going to do the same thing,’’ Lynch told 9News from California, where he was promoting Panini America trading cards for the NFL Players Association. “I think the competition between us is good and makes us play better as individual players.”
The Broncos’ first-round draft pick last year, Lynch only got to play in the 2 ½ regular-season games in which Seimian was injured. Sitting was new to Lynch. Although he redshirted his freshman year at Memphis, every year he put on a uniform, Lynch was a starter going back to his youth.
“It was difficult but I kind of had the idea that was going to happen whenever we got out of camp and out of OTAs, whenever they knew they were going to go with Trevor,’’ Lynch said. “The best thing for me was to sit back and learn. I think that was good for me to have a year to sit and learn. But like I said I’m ready to get back to work and when it comes OTA time and take it from there.’’
When he did play, Lynch’s best performance, oddly enough, was when he came off the bench cold at Tampa Bay. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown for a 94.1 passer rating against the Bucs.
But when Lynch got a full week to prepare in his starts against Atlanta and Jacksonville, he struggled, posting 81.0 and 61.8 passer ratings.
If Lynch is going to become the game-day starter in 2017, he has to become more efficient in practice. He played better in preseason games than he did during training camp. There were days when he struggled through the bulk of practice but then he zeroed in during the end-of-day, 2-minute drill.
So the kid has some gamer in him. But if his teammates are to count on him to play well on Sunday, he will have to show his teammates he can bring it on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, too.
“I definitely agree with that,’’ Lynch said. “That’s something I learned to do at Memphis taking practice reps as game reps day-in and day-out. Not taking those for granted but when I got to this level I was trying to learn everything at once and I kind of got caught up in not getting in a rhythm and getting my mojo back.
“So, yeah, I definitely was struggling I would say in practice but by the end of the season I kind of found my groove. I started practicing better day-in and day-out.’’
Lynch said he has had 15-minute phone conversations with his new head coach Vance Joseph, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave. There will be a new offense to learn, but this one should be more quarterback friendly in that it will be played at faster pace than the Gary Kubiak offensive system he learned in 2016.
Up tempo also means operating from the line of scrimmage. Can Lynch handle making checks and pre-snap reads in his second year after not playing much in his first?
“I know it’s going to be difficult learning a new offense because I’ve gone through the process of learning an offense last year,’’ Lynch said. “I know he wants a lot faster pace offense but it’s nothing that I haven’t tried before. I know at Memphis we were up tempo. Obviously, we didn’t do as much stuff at the line of scrimmage that we did even in this offense we just had.
“I’m going to bust my tail and I’m going to give myself the best opportunity to play. I’m not going to let that hold me back having to learn a new offense, or let it be an excuse.’’