The Trevor Siemian era appears to be on the horizon in Denver as the Broncos quarterback will start officially in this team's third preseason game, how deserved his position is will be debated until he fails or succeeds.
For now, the Broncos coaching staff, who launched him in this battle in the first place, are standing by the second-year QB despite a mixed bag in his first NFL start.
“I thought he played well and he made a mistake,” said offensive coordinator Rick Dennison. “We could say that for any one of the 45 guys we have on offense. We made some mistakes. We have to learn from those and fortunately we can.”
As much focus as there’s been on Siemian’s pick-six from last Saturday, the coordinator, who’s been with him for two seasons now, saw plenty of positives as well.
“He knows what we’re doing,” said Dennison. “We work through the first handful of plays in a game, different situations, and he had complete control of that. Everybody could see that. I think he was in command of the game and knew what he was doing, yet he made a mistake.”
An interesting aspect of Siemian’s play in Saturday night's game was how he played after the interception. Gary Kubiak put the Northwestern product in for another series after the INT, but Siemian didn’t look like himself, seeming almost rattled or as if the nerves of the situation had caught up to him.
“Absolutely not,” said Dennison, promptly dismissing the notion of nerves getting in the way. “I think they’re trying and trying to do the best they can. I don’t think they’re gun-shy. They threw through some tight windows. You look at a couple of throws. Mark [Sanchez] threw in very tight windows; Trevor the same thing. Paxton [Lynch] just turned loose and started running around and doing some good things. I don’t think anybody is really tight; I just think they’re trying. That’s been our talk most of the time for everybody, just turn it loose. You can’t play hesitant. You won’t make it. You can’t be afraid to make a mistake or else you won’t make a play.”
The quarterback battle hasn’t been easy on Kubiak and his staff, especially when the coaches are still trying to implement their preferred offensive scheme.
“There’s always going to be something,” said Kubiak. “This [QB competition] is different. I’ve been doing this a long time and this is different with the situation and two very young players. I think they’ve worked extremely hard. They’ve all done good things, and here we are at the end of camp. It’s time to make some decisions and go with it. They’re working their tails off and I’m proud of all three of them.”
While Siemian sat out Tuesday nursing a bum shoulder from attempting to tackle on the returned interception, he has the opportunity of a lifetime in front of him.
The third preseason game will be an important barometer for him and this staff. Only time will tell if they get the answers they seek.