KUSA—This wasn’t getting thrown under a bus.
This was the Denver Broncos’ current group of quarterbacks getting run over by a wave of M-1 Abrams tanks.
It started Christmas Eve when Broncos star defensive players Brandon Marshall and Von Miller, among others, all but invited the Washington quarterback that just beat them that day, Kirk Cousins, into their locker room.
General manager John Elway and head coach Vance Joseph – while making sure to point out the Broncos’ troubles during their 5-11 season could not be solely blamed on their quarterback play -- have also been transparent in expressing a need to upgrade the position during the offseason.
Several players have continued to either publicly recruit Cousins through social media, or state during interviews the need for a quality quarterback.
Um, gee, fellas. Anyone consider what Trevor and Brock might think? They combined to start 14 of the Broncos’ 16 games last season. No one blamed them by name. But, yes, during phone interviews with 9NEWS, Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler were aware of the comments that indirectly were less-than-flattering.
“It’s understandable,’’ Siemian said. “We won five games last year. In this league playing quarterback, you’re judged on wins and losses. I get it. It’s part of the deal.
“I just wish I would have done some things differently. It would have been nice to play a little better and get us a few more wins. But I’ll look back and I’ll learn from it and be better for it.’’
It’s not surprising Siemian, who was 5-5 in 10 starts last season, responded from the high road. It’s consistent with the strong character he has demonstrated during his two seasons as the Broncos’ primary starting quarterback.
Osweiler, who started four games and came off the bench in another to rally the Broncos to victory at Indianapolis, was also his usual positive, philosophical self.
“Players, coaches, teammates, everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion,’’ Osweiler said. “The beautiful thing about being able to live in this country is not only are you entitled to your opinion, but you can speak it.
“I think every one of my teammates and coaches would agree that every single day I put my teammates first, before myself. I work as hard as I possibly can to be a great teammate, to be able to perform my role at my highest ability and you know what? Those opinions aren’t going to change how I approach the game.’’
Siemian and Osweiler combined to start 14 of the Broncos’ 16 games last season. Paxton Lynch got the other two. Lynch, though, is the quarterback most likely to return in 2018.
Siemian, who is to draw a quarterback-cheap $1.92 million salary in the final year of his contract, may be traded or released.
“I don’t have any comment for you,’’ Siemian said about the possibility he will be moved this offseason. “It is what it is. It’s a business. We’ll see what happens.’’
Osweiler will be an unrestricted free agent for the third time in three years on March 14.
“I told John at the end of the season that I would love to be a Bronco,’’ Osweiler said, referring to the exit interview all players had with Elway on Jan. 2, the day after their season ended. “And I’d love to finish my career as a Bronco. I told him regardless of what role I have, being a Bronco is something I take great pride in and is something that means a lot to me.
“What we did last season is unacceptable. And I told John that I want to come back and be part of the solution. To help fix the football team and get things back to where they should be, the way the Denver Broncos operate.
“At the end of the day, those things are out of my control. Whether I’m a Bronco or not, that’s in other people’s hands. But I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. And I’m looking forward to the future whatever that may hold.’’