ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — “I respect you guys," Vance Joseph told media on Saturday afternoon. "But your opinion kind of matters not very much when it comes to the quarterback position (laughing)."
We agree, coach. Yet, here we are continuing to give our opinions on the quarterback position because "kind of matters not very much" means our opinions still matter a little bit, right?
“Not at all," Joseph clarified with a smile. "Just being honest, right? Not at all.”
Please keep reading.
Ups and downs all around
On a day without much true excitement in the quarterback battle, both players had some highs and some lows.
Paxton Lynch started the day off well in a short 11-on-11 period, stringing together a couple of completions to his star wideouts Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. In the same drill, Siemian only threw one pass, a ball that went off the hands of Jordan Taylor.
In the next drill—7-on-7—Siemian lit it up, completing his first four passes, including two 20-yard balls to Jeff Heuerman and Andy Janovich as well as a 40-yard touchdown to Bennie Fowler. After an incomplete pass to Demaryius Thomas, he finished the drill with a 10-yard completion to Fowler.
Working with the twos, Lynch completed two short passes to Heuerman and Kalif Raymond and saw his other two throws fall to the ground.
The pattern of the day was whichever quarterback was working with the first team saw more reps, which appeared to be a result of the second and third teamers seeing so much more action in Thursday's game.
After an underwhelming drill where the quarterbacks only completed one ball on five attempts—a Paxton Lynch completion to Jordan Taylor—the QBs heated right back up and combined to complete seven out of their next 10, featuring a Lynch TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders, in another 11-on-11 drill.
Just when it seemed the two signal callers had found a rhythm, they had their worst drill of the day. Working with the full team in the red zone, Paxton Lynch missed five throws in a row, and he was nearly matched by Siemian, who missed all three of his attempts.
Those would turn out be the final reps of the day for the quarterbacks in a shortened practice. When you look back, it's not as if they did anything overtly bad, avoiding turnovers on the day, but they also didn't do much of anything impressive.
San Francisco schedule confirmed
Despite many outside the building believing the quarterback competition is a foregone conclusion in favor of Siemian, Joseph confirmed on Saturday that the team will see it through—at least through next week. Asked what the quarterback rotation will be in San Franciso, the head coach reaffirmed exactly what he said last week.
“Paxton is going to go with the ones for a quarter and half, and Trevor will go with the twos for a quarter and a half," he said. "It’s a competition. It’s fair to allow each guy to have a chance to play with the ones in the actual game. This week it’s Paxton’s turn, and we’ll figure it out from there. Right now it’s an open competition.”
Play of the Day
In 7-on-7 work early in practice, Trevor Siemian found Bennie Fowler up the left sideline and hit him in stride for what turned out to be a touchdown of about 40 yards.
With neither quarterback doing anything to separate themselves positively or negatively, each throwing one touchdown in 11-on-11, neither throwing an interception and both with a very similar completion percentage, it would be hard to call give this day to either man.